A Cheap Audio Man Rant

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Dan Steely, Sep 13, 2021.

  1. fairaintfair

    fairaintfair I Buried Paul

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Enough said.

    Cheers
     
  2. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    He won’t get a single click from me going forward. So you’re wrong.
     
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  3. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Relaxed Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    I really don’t think there was any consideration of what the general public would be using for playback equipment when making any production decisions. I’ve always heard if you wanted to get as close to what they where hearing in the studio or when it was mixed you would get a R2R and altec 604’s or JBL monitors which were largely the industry standard in the 70’s. Perhaps there was approval of a test pressing to ensure it was faithful to that 3 inch R2R but I don’t think there was any production choices made to accommodate listening in a car, a transistor radio or an AM broadcast.
     
  4. Classicrock

    Classicrock Forum Resident

    Location:
    South West, UK.
    I would agree production choices had nothing to do with the predicted mode of playback but the recording was made to sound the best they could and the vinyl was certainly not cut to pander to cheap record players. It was an audiophile favourite from the go and has continued to be. They even did a quad version soon after which I remember being used to dem a Pioneer surround sound system at the Earls Court audio show (1974).
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  5. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Relaxed Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Come on man, I’m Sure you’ve heard a variety of pressing for a given album from the 70’s. And if so you’ve heard that, a first pressing from the country of origin (possibly a Pomo pressing) sounds different and better than subsequent pressings. That would be because it’s closer to the master and certainly much close to what the artist or band heard when they decided the project was completed. I’d imagine that you have also made improvements in your system over the years and heard more details. Those details weren’t created by the equipment, you are getting closer to the sound of the original.
     
  6. fairaintfair

    fairaintfair I Buried Paul

    Location:
    SF Bay Area

    Respectfully..I basically don't dissagree with you. Honest. I enjoy the hunt for The Wonderful Sound© via upgrades and endless tweaking just as much as the next variable junkie in these forums. But I need not remind you that all we are doing is simply changing sound. Nothing more.

    So..

    If we have never heard the sound of a original master in the mastering suite then how can we possibly know what we are getting closer to? There are way too many variables at play here (especially with vinyl) for me to be bothered with reaching for a sound that I can never even hope to hear?

    Audiophiles that I trust don't frame their hobby in these terms, thus my original comment.
     
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  7. HIRES_FAN

    HIRES_FAN Forum Resident

    I have a big issue with these dealers for high end gear man....Take brands like Luxman, Accuphase, etc for instance. The product speaks for itself and it sells itself. Why should i pay a dealer an extra 40% to 50% man? His "passion" for high end audio, really? Oh yes, we all know about that "passion" of yours. I don't need your flippin "passion" at all man, that very passionate 50%!! I don't need it at all.

    It is high time brands like Luxman, Accuphase, etc went manufacturer direct. I don't mind paying the manufacturer what they ask me, so their engineers can get a better salary and the company can invest more in R&D. I'd like to pay their genius grade engineers more for their hard work. But, you, middle man/dealer, what do you offer? You offer nothing to me.

    Let's take a look at my car, for instance. It happens to be a Tesla and Elon Musk can't sell it in 16 US states...thanks to this franchise mafia. Here is a "Made in America" car that can't be sold in 16 American states. Isn't that something? I mean....isn't that something? But, you can buy a flippin Kia and a Hyundai in these states apparently.

    Let's look at the houses i've sold/bought over the years, for instance. I just want that sale handled between me and the seller or vice versa....But, you've got this leech of a middleman, otherwise, known as a real estate agent. We all know what his cut is. No man, i don't need you. If i need my house sold or i need to buy a different house, i will just hire a real estate attorney. He'll just charge me 500 to a 1000 bucks for his legal expertise. I don't need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to a realtor leech...What do you offer realtor? A whole lotta nothing!

    This country and its entitled middlemen who expect to get paid with nothing to offer....
     
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  8. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    It's not official Metallica art from any of their albums or promotions. It's fan art with the Metallica logo.

    I have zero issues with the official Metallica album art for And Justice For All. I have no issues with bare nipples or bare breasts in art or album art. I have no issues with naked statues as classic art. That is all fine. I have coffee table books of classic art that has nudity. I have indie albums that have full frontal nudity on the cover and I don't edit or censor the artwork shown on my computer. I'm not a prude. I also have some music that is legitimately offensive. I wouldn't play that music in public and wouldn't display the artwork for those albums behind me in a YouTube video.

    But I do think it is not so wise to display artwork behind you in a YouTube video that needs context to describe and understand. I understand very well what the artwork is portraying and why it is like that. The art is intentionally portraying vulnerability. But without that context the art does begin to border on creepy because the dress is hiked up while the woman is bound and gaged. Do the same art with the robes down to the knees and it would be fine. But with the robes hiked up like that it begins to border on creepy.

    There is a YouTube audio reviewer who displays manga waifu comic images of young women on his computer monitor while doing YouTube video reviews of audio gear. It's not a good look. And I think much less of him for that.
     
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  9. misteranderson

    misteranderson Forum Resident

    Location:
    englewood, nj
    It's gratuitously stupid, and not worth the pixels you just spilled on it. Giving it the "context" of it representing Liberty and/or Justice in bondage just makes it dumber.

    I can see it being something a high school kid might have had in his room 20 years ago, but a middle aged guy like Cheapaudioman now...I don't get it. Not creepy as much as just sad.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  10. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    Location:
    MI
  11. Grant

    Grant Cranky! It'll happen to you too, kids!

    Location:
    United States
    I'll decide what offends me. Thank you just the same.
     
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  12. Grant

    Grant Cranky! It'll happen to you too, kids!

    Location:
    United States
    I remember seven of us packed inside of an early 70s Charger in front of the school band room one night after drum practice listening to a fantastic car stereo system. We listened to ZZ Top's "La Grange" on his 8-track stereo system and it kicked balls!
     
  13. Grant

    Grant Cranky! It'll happen to you too, kids!

    Location:
    United States
    That is if we can all come to a consensus of what science tells us.
     
  14. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    "A band approving there masters" lol
     
  15. Sterling1

    Sterling1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    For any here with enough credentials to profess on a topic I'm confident that watching YouTube Reviews on such topic could be disturbing. I am not "expert" in audio/video matters; but, I am credentialed in matters of Long Range Marksmanship and watching how to do it videos on Long Range Marksmanship makes it clear that some Long Range Shooting advise is coming from folks who just don't know that they don't know. Now, since the Cheap Audio Man does not disturb me perhaps that's an indicator that I know very little about audio/video; but, over the last year I have watched a plethora of videos on the Marantz NR1200, as well as the Sony UBP-X800II just because they were brought to my attention by YouTube. In all cases, I was suspicious about the accolades on these products from the reviewers, making me question the legitimacy of the reviewers; but, having just inherited these two audio/video products, I find that the accolades placed on these products was not unfounded. In fact, the Marantz/Sony experience has rivaled my Sony TA-P9000ES/OPPO-205 experience. So, maybe I should not be so prone to reject these reviews, just prudently cautious.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
  16. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 Relaxed Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    *Their, lol

    let’s not get too technical with the term “masters”. Obviously each band is going to have varying degrees of involvement from mixing to mastering. But every band listens back to what they recorded and makes choices. Not every system is going to reveal or accurately reproduce what a given artist was going for, the choices they made and agreed was the finished product. In the Pink Floyd example, your system is going to make the echo in the guitar, the heartbeat, the clock, the screams and 100 other things the band obsessed on when recording dark side more audible. You are having a very different experience with an Ayre amp and Monster Sonus Faber speakers than someone listening back with his phone and a JBL tube looking BT speaker. Who would you say is closer to listening to the master tape or what the band was working to achieve?

    for most new pop music the compositions revolve around thumping bass. If you are running two large sub woofers you are getting closer to the “master tape” or what the artist was hearing/working to create. Equipment makes a difference.
     
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  17. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    "The original artist's intent" is often meaningless. Many artists don't know crap about good recording, mixing, or mastering -- that's why they hire producers and engineers to make those decisions for them. And a number of the most popular records of all time because huge hits specifically against the artists' intent -- like the electric overdub to "The Sound(s) of Silence", the orchestra added to "Let It Be", or the edits to Chicago's "Beginnings" that transformed it from an 8-minute jazz fusion jam session into a sub-3-minute AM Top 40 radio-friendly 45.
     
  18. Archimago

    Archimago Forum Resident

    Hey there @Ham Sandwich. I think we come from very different perspectives on what we like and agree/disagree on over the years. Nonetheless, I like your comment and indeed the context which we display is important. I remember over the years people like Michael Lavorgna would show unusual pictures on his site and make strange videos that seem to be just for effect and I don't think conveyed an appropriate "look" either.

    From my perspective, this YouTube channel is no different from the vast majority out there. It's just an opinion the guy presents with a spin based on his personality... There's no data there, no attempt at verification of beliefs or supposed sound quality when it comes to the products he reviews. It's the same playground as guys like Darko, or Guttenberg, or Beekhuyzen, or Andrew Robinson or Josh Valour or Z Reviews (which I believe you referenced).

    And while the message might be a little different and the brands reviewed are likewise different, they're all just subjective opinions and rants anyway; no different than most of the opinions on public forums as well ;-).

    Having said this, I can't disagree with a number of the things said... Sure, I wasn't at the studio when the music I listen to was recorded (but I don't think I have to to enjoy/desire high-fidelity playback). Yeah, price point itself is not all that useful (although there typically is some correlation at least with materials and workmanship). Who knows what "high end" is about; nor IMO does it matter unless as a consumer one somehow needs that level of assurance or "badge" to feel good. And sure, there's snake oil out there with voodoo beliefs.

    Nothing new or shocking.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021
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  19. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Which business isn’t?
     
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  20. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    This thread demonstrates some of the issues with YouTube reviewers having questionable art displayed in their videos. Several people clicked away from the video in the first few minutes because of the art. And here we are spending many posts talking about the art and whether it is appropriate instead of the content of the review itself. The art has become a distraction, and not in a good way.

    I had no issues with Michael Lavogna's tastes or content or how he filled content between gear reviews. I follow his web site Twittering Machines for gear reviews and music suggestions. And I follow his Bandcamp account for music to explore. He manages to find some interesting music and do some interesting things. It's all fine with me, but could put some other people off. And that's the risk of adding in additional content beyond just the bare bones of an audio gear review. I like him better for that bit of character. Other's won't.
     
  21. ernest787

    ernest787 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas
    Honestly I'm more shocked with the responses to the Metallica art work than anything in this thread lol

    I'm not sure of age groups and what not but I'd guess the people having an issue with it may be in a different age bracket than myself.

    I'm 37 and that poster is a very common image associated with the band. It's pretty tame imo when compared to other bands and artist in the metal world.

    Anyway. Back to the topic. I'm really hit and miss with Randy's videos. If he's taking about a product I'm interested in I may watch but generally skip his videos.

    I will disagree with his statements about bands not approving mixes/masters though. Knowing lots of artist/bands, I don't think I know of any that don't listen and approve the final mix/master. You can definitely argue most are probably not using "audiophile" equipment but none the less they are listening.

    There is a famous pressing of a punk bands record from the 80s. They got the mixes back and hated it. There was a small run of records pressed anyway while they had it fixed. That small run is now very rare and a holy grail amongst collectors but an example of a band listening and even rejecting their mix/master.
     
  22. Simoon

    Simoon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    His first point sucks. I agree with a lot of the rest.

    There is a certain group for audio channels on YT, which are over the top, "anti audiophile", when in fact, they are audiophiles, whether they use that label of not. This guy and a guy with the last name of Robinson (too lazy to find his channel), and a few more.

    I can appreciate a lot that they do, championing lower priced, but really good gear. But their almost militant anti high end stance is getting old, quickly.

    This guy has said before, that no piece of gear is worth spending over $2000 for. Which is, to me (a budget minded audiophile) just plain wrong. I have heard, at all price ranges, continual improvements as better gear, at higher prices, is used.

    I get the idea, that guys like him, are those that either believe Allan Parsons' (false) stereotype* of audiophiles, or are pandering to those that do.

    * "Audiophiles don't use their equipment to listen to your music. Audiophiles use your music to listen to their equipment.”
     
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  23. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    This article addresses the concern over "recording quality" and whether you were at the recording or not. Comparison by Contrast is the notion that the system that reveals the highest level of contrast is the more accurate and over the long run the more enjoyable system. Since we can't know how the album was recorded all we have is the knowledge that all recordings were recorded differently. If Metallica records an album in California at Studio B and Sarah McLachlan records under a different label in Vancouver, Canada with a different recording and mastering engineer we KNOW these two albums are recorded differently and will sound different. If a Bose 901 makes both albums sound the same in terms of presenting a massive soundstage and the sound is somewhat flat and offer up similar dynamics while say an Acapella Horn reveals a big stage for Metallica but a small stage for Sarah and perhaps reveals more compression on Metallica and less on Sarah or Metallica is tipped up (brighter) for cymbals while Sarah's album is more subdued on cymbals then we know that Acapella is presenting much more contrast than the 901. And when you listen to 20 more albums and they all sound different again - while the Bose 901 still paints the same sort of sound across albums and even genres then it's a low resolving speaker - and no speaker that is low-resolution can possibly be "accurate."

    That does not mean that a speaker that has high contrast is automatically accurate either - it just has a better chance to be. For example, a speaker may have high resolution and contrast recordings well but still could introduce some colour or distortion or resonance into the sound reproduction. Single-Ended Tube amplifiers for example have degrees of added noise floor than SS amplifiers - so it is possible for a SET amplifier to have far more resolution (contrast) than a very low noise SS amplifier but also add in noise.

    Are You On The Road To... Audio Hell? Article By Leonard Norwitz And Peter Qvortrup
     
  24. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    This is a good practice regardless of what you are evaluating-- listening to a wide variety of different material. It will usually show the weaknesses (relative) in a given system or component, but obviously takes time. Thus, the "drive-by" review, e.g. at a show, is not usually an indicator of much (though somehow, some exhibitors manage to pull that off pretty well).
     
    Richard Austen likes this.
  25. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Audio Shows were initially created for dealers. Dealers went to try out manufacturers and went there less for sound but more to see what they could make money selling - then the press was there to cover it and now it is open to the public. As a place to actually evaluate gear it's pretty piss poor. If it sounds great in those conditions more power to them but I have learned over the years that some very good gear sounds like utter crap at these shows - and the very next show it can sound absolutely stunning.

    What is also interesting is that some rooms might suck on a Friday and sound great on Sunday - so many issues from the room, the gear, the music played, the mood of the listener, the fatigue factor of the listener, the bias for or against the guy running the room or the manufacturer of the products. One room plays Diana Krall or Adelle at 70dB and another room is playing Willie Nelson, another room is playing Opera, and another room is playing Nightwish at 95dB. Just in music terms, you'll have some difficulty making an evaluation and setting aside your biases. Some systems are superior at big and loud than others so if you like big and loud the room that is thumping Nightwish may impress you more than the room playing Diana Krall. OTOH - presumably Diana Krall is played all the time (ALL ... THE ... TIME!) because most of the audiophiles like her so cater to the crowd. Nightwish may actually tell you more about how capable the system is but if half the audience walks out because they can't stomach it then they will hate the system because they hate the music.
     

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