Three years into vinyl, where to go from here.....

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Chester0711, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    This man obviously did not employ my “spend so much time looking at and casually mentioning pieces of gear that your wife finally says ‘Just get it already!’” technique. It’s unbelievably reliable.
     
  2. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 I’ve opted for fun in this lifetime

    Location:
    Ohio
    It’s not hard to do, my first two year total was well beyond that. So much so I decided to stop counting. They key is to travel a lot. I was in a groove where I would be gone all week and come home on Friday with 50 or more records to throw on the play pile. I’d say around the 2 to 3 thousand point it gets very hard to find albums you want or don’t already have. But when you have nothing, that first 1,000 can go very quickly if you have the money to spend.
     
  3. ANALOGUE OR DEATH

    ANALOGUE OR DEATH Forum Resident

    Location:
    HULL ENGLAND
    I'm not sure what is meant by 'punch'.Is it like 'slam ' or 'grunt ' or any of the other meaningless adjectives banded around in the audiophile firmament these days?
    If you want to hear more of what is hidden in the grooves of your records,and correct me if I'm wrong,but isn't this the ultimate goal?,then concentrate on the deck,then arm,then cartridge.In that order.
    If you don't want to do this then just enjoy what you have.
     
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  4. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 I’ve opted for fun in this lifetime

    Location:
    Ohio
    That’s what I would call the “honeymoon” faze. It gets quickly replaced with the have it delivered to work or the work from home faze. Wich coincides with the “why are the security cameras off line” faze.
     
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  5. TheVinylAddict

    TheVinylAddict ___The Enforcer___

    What's your budget! :)

    To me that will dictate how (and if) you want to make another step. If your budget is light, I would say other than speakers small upgrades in a couple of spots might not justify and stay with what you have and enjoy. Even then, replacing what you have with $1K speakers might still leave you wanting. If you upgrade make it a noticeable leap!

    From experience, many times replacing gear in the same class will make your system sound different, but not always better. I've had fun trying things, upgrading, etc but its cost me and arm and a leg doing so (and time) and if I had to do it over again I would have spent up right from the start. (live and learn). Realize now going from the level you are at to something appreciably better across the board in key spots will cost you!

    But if forced to pick one thing - extend and get an awesome pair of speakers, then incrementally build around them from there.
     
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  6. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    It is 1600 individual titles. I keep them all tracked on Discogs under the name chester0711. AND I must confess the 1600 was an estimation rounded up...I just checked and only have 1542 logged on there but have 25 in a bin that still need to be cleaned, listened to, vetted, and entered in. So almost 1600!

    Less than 40 were bought at garage sales at .50 or $1 an album. I did this a few times when starting out. The quality and overall content wasn't worth the hunt through peoples crap anymore.
    In all honesty, I am a little picky on quality and specific pressing. When possible I try for originals or very close to it. If originals are ridiculous in price (over $200) I will hunt down a premium pressing (AP, MM, etc....) Sometimes......sometimes, I settle.

    If you are curious as to what I listen too or what I try to buy take a look through my stuff!

    I have never bought in bulk, and no collections inherited unless you count the first 6 records I acquired from my Mother-in-law.

    I have no desire to grab 20-30-50 records in a bundle to have most of it stuff I would never want to hear. My collection and what I collect is more calculated then that.

    And, one last point to make, I am not a collector. I open every record I buy and play them. I don't care to have an album for the sake of owning it or owning a rare pressing or whatever along those lines. The music on the record and how it sounds matters far more. If the best pressing is a collectible , fine....but I am playing it, not looking at it or storing it.

    Just thought that should be clear to some degree.
     
  7. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    For a lot of years my system was in a 12x12x8 room so here are some thoughts from an equipment flipper. Big speakers are hard (impossible for me) to get right in that room. It's hard to get proper integration with speakers having three or four drivers as you can't get enough distance between you and the speakers. If you want to use floor stand speakers, stay with two-way speakers.

    Proper speaker placement and room treatments are essential for you to find out how good your room can sound. If the room is dedicated to the system, and you can arrange it any way you want, look at a diagonal speaker setup. Here's a pic of my old room:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    I am at this point already. I already struggle to get anything from a quick trip (or not so quick) to the local record shop looking through the bins. It seems to be more calculated buys these days.
     
    Dennis0675 likes this.
  9. samtheman7373

    samtheman7373 Active Member

    Speakers................Speakers............Speakers.

    Pretty much any other 'upgrade' can and is debated here and called into question: "Ah but was your impression of the new Phono amp the result of a proper blind test? Did you level match? Placebo? Confirmation bias? All interconnects sound the same! All DACs sound the same! on and on it goes :)

    No sane person argues that good speakers do not change sound quality for the better. I've wasted money on so many sideways equipment moves but got lucky with my last purchase. I baught an old pair of Monitor Audio silver6 floorstanders (only €200) and it changed everything. The sound from these babies makes me want to cry with joy at times.

    Speakers................Speakers............Speakers.......and a good set of Headphones.
     
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  10. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 I’ve opted for fun in this lifetime

    Location:
    Ohio
    Exactly, I’ve only been buying records for a about 4 years and I mostly walk out of shops empty handed or buy one weird thing because I’m friendly with my shop ownwers and I feel bad not picking something up. Once you get a good play copy of your favorite bands it’s chasing variants and that gets stupid expensive. And...that’s the point where spending on your system is more rewarding. It’s like listening to all those albums again for the first time.

    I could be wrong but it’s seem like you are at a comfort level with $500 budget for equipment and do that frequently. You may have finished that game, the price goes up in the next round.
     
    Strat-Mangler likes this.
  11. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin
    If I were presented with the kinds of choices you face, as a self-described neophyte, I think I'd be lost. There are so many products out there and it is virtually impossible to evaluate them in isolation when the objective is to put together a system. Dealers can be helpful, though there is almost always an agenda- they may have selected the brands they carry for good reason, but few dealers carry everything. Users on fora have a tendency --not surprising- to advocate for things they own because they have gone through the process and chosen one thing over another. But your ears may not be their ears. Your sonic priorities may be different. Who to trust? You.
    How do you do that? Listen. To as many different kinds of systems and combinations as possible. You are in a town that used to be a pretty good hi-fi center, it may still be.
    You'll hear surprisingly different results from different "good" systems-- figuring out the 'why' of it may be very difficult given all the variables, but you should expose yourself to the different kinds of loudspeakers- from planar/electrostatic, to dynamic and horn types. (Even within those general categories, there are lots of differences). The amp-speaker relationship is a critical one, not just in terms of rated output and other specs but overall sonic character (though you wouldn't want to be using a flea powered SET tube amp with an inefficient dynamic or planar type).
    To me, everything makes a difference. But, even if you had an unlimited budget, and went out and bought the "best" of everything, that's no assurance the combination of components would make for a good system. So, part of doing a 'listening tour' is to identify the sorts of well known combinations that are put together to achieve what audiophiles call 'synergy'-- i.e., the sum is greater than the parts. There are so many 'schools' of approach, it would be helpful for you to hear them simply to identify what you like and what isn't as important to you.
    I've always been about midrange first. Listening to the original Quad Loudspeaker in combination with good tube electronics caused me to veer off the path of high power and dynamic speakers toward something different in 1973. (I still have those speakers and still use them more than 45 years later- they helped me learn how to listen). Graduating to something that had more bandwidth, could play louder and didn't suffer from some of the severe limitations of the Quad has been a long evolution-- from bigger, more modern electrostats to, eventually, horns and SET amps. This, in turn, required better electronics and revealed the shortcomings of the phono front end, which evolved over time. (All of this equipment was "high end" equipment, but there were still significant differences in sonic character). Changing out one highly regarded phono stage for another made a difference; ditto, cartridges.
    I don't think there is any one "path" in part because the choices ultimately become very personal. I've heard stunning systems that sound entirely different from each other. Each presents a different sort of sonic truth.
    A few observations as you climb this mountain: the steps become harder as you ascend the heights, the air more rarified and the consequences of a misstep potentially more costly.
    There are people with the money to churn through all kinds of high end gear in the quest, almost never satisfied or changing to the "next great thing." One benefit of this is that it creates a market for very good used equipment that can be purchased at heavily depreciated prices. (Except for 'grail' type components that increase in value because they are highly sought after). Don't overlook the used equipment market in your research and evaluations. It can get you much more for your dollar.
    The other thing you should notice as you do your listening tours is that there is often no correlation between price and sonic outcomes; and, even in cases where you can hear a difference at a 10x price factor, you may decide that it isn't worth the cost to you.
    The cost of this education is virtually nothing but your time. It is well worth the expenditure and can be great fun.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  12. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    OK, we have largely the same philosophy, you’ve just been far more active than I!
     
  13. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    I think you may be right here....I can usually venture in my current end of the pool pretty well, but I have a nagging feeling that my next steps will be bigger (in cost) One thing I may try before the crazy happens is some floor standing speakers, I just gotta figure out the arrangement in the room.
     
    timind likes this.
  14. Jimi Floyd

    Jimi Floyd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pisa, Italy
    I browsed thru your collection on Discogs, all good stuff, compliments!
     
    Chester0711 likes this.
  15. Fifth-Chord

    Fifth-Chord VG+

    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I agree most with the posts about listening and enjoying your music collection more. I'm very satisfied with my current set up and have been enjoying what I have put together over the last 7 years. I can't wait to get home and spin a record and not fuss with searching, reading, buying and trading. It's been peaceful.

    I re-read your post and I'm curious as to what speakers and amps you've tried.

    What vintage amps have you tried?

    What do you think of the Zu Audio speakers?
     
  16. Dennis0675

    Dennis0675 I’ve opted for fun in this lifetime

    Location:
    Ohio
    You are in a good area for vintage and used equipment, do you keep up with Craig’s list stereo equipment pasting? A $1,000 budget should get you something substantialy better. And if you don’t like it you won’t eat a huge depreciation if you move it along.
     
    AKA-Chuck G likes this.
  17. brubacca

    brubacca New Member

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Love the Soliloquy 5.0 Speakers (And the Proceed Amp). I have a Maple pair in the basement (without the matching stands). Mine were the older 10 Ohm Versions.
     
    timind likes this.
  18. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    thanks!
     
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  19. Chester0711

    Chester0711 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Minneapolis,MN
    I have a Marantz 2220B. I liked it but it fell ill and needed some work.....decided it wasnt worth it.

    Never heard Zu speakers. I have had:

    Polk T15's
    Infinity RS 2000
    Elac B6 Debut (original)
    Current : Elac B6.2 2.0(new)

    Wondering what speakers would go well in a smaller room like mine with the current setup?
    Might have to go test drive those paradigms mentioned earlier.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  20. Subagent

    Subagent Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    Ditto on the Soliloquys! 5.0's in rosewood were my first real quality speakers. My brother has them now. He loves 'em.
     
  21. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    I thought that was a Proceed! I used to have the Amp2. I wish I still had it - was one of the many casualties of trying to get Maggie 1.6’s to sound good. Also, when I was shopping for speakers, and ultimately bought the Maggie’s, I auditioned the Soliloquies. Should’ve gotten those instead :doh:
     
    timind likes this.
  22. Drewan77

    Drewan77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK/USA
    Please don't take this the wrong way but yes it is possible, I did so in 2012 when I discovered what a DEQX processor could do.

    It calibrated the speakers (& a sub) to be fully time & phase aligned and helped tame the room-speaker interface + crossover to the sub so my existing (& any subsequent) speakers became tight, punchy and almost without vice at any volume level. Bass nodes & smeared imaging virtually vanished too. An almost shocking difference & the rest of the gear: source, amps, cabling, speakers didn't change one bit!

    It wasn't cheap but, like the OP, I had spent far too much time and money almost randomly adding gear to try and achieve what I had thought was impossible. The system now remains as 'perfect to my tastes' as I could want and all I do is buy and listen to music - it never gives me cause to complain or feel a need to change a thing.

    Rave professional and user reviews on the DEQX site almost understate what this gear can do & there are other products that can achieve similar results too. It really can be game-changing.
     
  23. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Heavy Horses Operator

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I thought people stop only when spend 10k for a antivibration platform under 75K grounding device. Having Deqx processor in your chain seems like a much cheaper solution, if works.
     
    timind likes this.
  24. Drewan77

    Drewan77 Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK/USA
    Er, yes-no. I was so pleased that I now have two of those controlling a 5-way 2 channel OB setup and that was well over +$10k.
     
  25. Old Zorki II

    Old Zorki II Heavy Horses Operator

    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Sorry, second time in a month my joke attempt fell totally flat )))
     
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