Home Stereo Reccomendations?

Discussion in 'rec.audio.pro' started by James Crabbe, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Hmmm... Actually, subwoofers and center-channel speakers have nothing whatever
    to do with surround sound.

    For me, the best part of surround sound is ambience extraction/synthesis. When
    these processes are performed correctly, the results are astounding. The
    speakers completely disappear and the illusion that you are at some other
    acoustic venue is very strong. This works particularly well when viewing a
    concert or opera on large-screen TV. It goes much farther beyond stereo than
    stereo goes beyond mono.

    A close runner-up is having sounds coming at you from all directions. Some
    people find this disturbing, but I'm the sort of person who's easily bored and
    needs high levels of stimulation. Recordings like DSotM and TB provide it, along
    with those "musically tasteless" full-surround classical recordings Columbia was
    notorious for 25 years ago. It's unfortunate that Sony, et al., have suddenly
    developed a "purist conscience" and (generally) refuse to reissue these
    recordings in full surround. If Sony wants to promote SACD, they should remaster
    them in full surround and sell them at a "reasonable" price.

    By the way, the SQ LP of "The Threepenny Opera" was (I am told) made in an
    electronically minimalist fashion with the SQ version being created from the
    direct mic feeds. It certainly sounds like it, as the end result (even after
    being run through an SQ decoder) is close to audiophile quality.


    Arny Krueger wrote...

    > William Sommerwerck wrote...


    > >>> I still think surround sound is a farce and a huge waste of money.


    >> I've had surround sound for 33 years. You don't know what you're
    >> missing.


    > Agreed.


    > I'm of the opinion that the most useful parts of what is now called
    > *surround sound* technology are subwoofers and center channel
    > speakers. I've had those for over 25 years.
  2. Arny Krueger

    Arny Krueger Guest

    "William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote in message
    news:vkhgrq1eq2er8f@corp.supernews.com

    > Hmmm... Actually, subwoofers and center-channel speakers have nothing
    > whatever to do with surround sound.


    That's why I worded my statement as I did:

    "...what is now called *surround sound* technology..."

    > For me, the best part of surround sound is ambience
    > extraction/synthesis. When these processes are performed correctly,
    > the results are astounding. The speakers completely disappear and the
    > illusion that you are at some other acoustic venue is very strong.


    I've heard a lot of what are reputed to be very good surround sound systems,
    and it always seems like my ears are never that thoroughly fooled.

    > This works particularly well when viewing a concert or opera on
    > large-screen TV. It goes much farther beyond stereo than stereo goes
    > beyond mono.


    My take is that the picture is up there, and at my favorite venues the sound
    comes from up there, and the room ambience is, and always should be a
    blending between the recording room and the listening room.

    > A close runner-up is having sounds coming at you from all directions.


    I passed out of that phase about 10 seconds after my first 4-channel demo
    back in the late 60s.

    > Some people find this disturbing, but I'm the sort of person who's
    > easily bored and needs high levels of stimulation. Recordings like
    > DSotM and TB provide it, along with those "musically tasteless"
    > full-surround classical recordings Columbia was notorious for 25
    > years ago. It's unfortunate that Sony, et al., have suddenly
    > developed a "purist conscience" and (generally) refuse to reissue
    > these recordings in full surround. If Sony wants to promote SACD,
    > they should remaster them in full surround and sell them at a
    > "reasonable" price.


    Well, we both record live performances, right? That means to me that I don't
    have to depend on anybody to make recordings for us that suit our tastes.
  3. > Well, we both record live performances, right? That means to me
    > that I don't have to depend on anybody to make recordings for us
    > that suit our tastes.


    I assume this is a joke.

    There are at least 250 major works of music that belong in any classical
    library. How are you or I supposed to attend 250 recording sessions for them,
    then get the musicians to "set up" the way it pleases us?

    Not to mention the question of whether the performances are any good. I'll take
    a great performance from the '30s over a mediocre one I've recorded myself.

    Trouble is, you've never heard GOOD surround sound. Over the years, many people
    have said to me "I don't like quad/surround sound, but I like YOUR system."
    That's because my surround systems were designed and set up correctly.
  4. Scott Dorsey

    Scott Dorsey Guest

    William Sommerwerck <williams@nwlink.com> wrote:
    >
    >Trouble is, you've never heard GOOD surround sound. Over the years, many people
    >have said to me "I don't like quad/surround sound, but I like YOUR system."
    >That's because my surround systems were designed and set up correctly.


    Sadly, though, too many recordings are made to be played back on systems
    that aren't that way.... I am thinking originally of those Columbia string
    quartet recordings, with an instrument in every corner of the room....
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  5. Gord

    Gord Guest

    If you're on a really tight budget and want something decent, I think
    that old Marantz receivers from the '70s are great units. I think that
    the ones with the silver colored faces on them sound great, and the
    ones with the gold faces sound crappy. They're very different from one
    another. You can get one of these units at a local pawn shop for less
    than $100.

    I paid about $80 USD for mine, and it sounds way fuller, clearer, and
    more musical than my much newer $800 USD Yamaha receiver. Old silver
    faced Marantz units blow away any Future Shop receivers IMO.

    Try one. If you don't like it, they are easy to sell and you won't
    lose any money on depreciation.

    Good luck,
    Gord
  6. Sugarite

    Sugarite Guest

    > Trouble is, you've never heard GOOD surround sound. Over the years, many
    people
    > have said to me "I don't like quad/surround sound, but I like YOUR

    system."
    > That's because my surround systems were designed and set up correctly.


    Oh please. You sound like Wesley Snipes in White Men Can't Jump, "You can
    listen to Jimi, but you can't HEAR him..."

    My problem with surround sound isn't so much a matter of theory, but
    implementation. From the engineering to the hardware design, it's all crap.
    Then there's the issue of matching speakers and amps precisely, and cost.
    (Tell me they don't have to match and I'll know you're full of crap) My
    ProAc's are from 1986, and even if they still made them, they're unshielded
    and comparable current models are big dough, and mine sound better. Then I
    need more stands, then I'd need to accomplish an engineering task that's
    completely overlooked, a proper mass-loaded stand for the center speaker,
    which is generally a tactical impossibility since it should sit where the TV
    is, equidistant from the sweetspot with the front speakers. (Tell me stands
    aren't important, and I'll know you're a novice audiophile at best) Lastly,
    amps. My current amp is an Audio Innovations S500 integrated tube amp,
    25W/ch from 2 Mullard EL34's per side pure Class A, with 5 vintage
    Telefunken 12AX7's I've chosen myself from an assortment of 12 or so.
    Powering another 4 channels would cost me at least $1200 in tubes alone, it
    would take years to find the preamp tubes of the same vintage or at least
    balance them across all amps, not to mention the S500 changed designs every
    year (mine's the original), plus another $600+ in cables, and at this point
    I can now destroy the ergonomics of my sound room to position speakers
    properly, and be endlessly adjusting volume controls manually to find a good
    balance, which of course changes for every recording engineer.

    That sounds absolutely crazy, I know, but that's what would be required for
    me to "upgrade" to a surround sound system *without comprimising the sound
    quality I already have and love*. The bottom line is that the nature of a
    surround system is such that for the same price you could have gotten a
    stereo at least three times better, if the economics can be accepted as
    such. Some completely extraneous and poorly implemented imaging just isn't
    worth throwing tone out the window. And if you think I'm going to drop down
    to some dinked-out solid-state all-in-one receiver, you're nuts.

    And for the record I have heard some surround sound systems done how I would
    do it if I were starting from scratch and had $40k to burn, and sure they
    can be rather impressive, but the imaging is not nearly as precise as with
    an equally well-tuned stereo. With 5 tweeters in action, they each have to
    be positioned perfectly to the micron. It just can't be done except under
    laboratory conditions.

    IMHO you don't need to be an audiophile to appreciate the fact that better
    tone, timbre, and more precise imaging is more satisfying than crap sound
    coming from all angles.
  7. Arny Krueger

    Arny Krueger Guest

    "William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote in message
    news:vkicerachd2lc0@corp.supernews.com
    >> Well, we both record live performances, right? That means to me
    >> that I don't have to depend on anybody to make recordings for us
    >> that suit our tastes.


    > I assume this is a joke.


    > There are at least 250 major works of music that belong in any
    > classical library. How are you or I supposed to attend 250 recording
    > sessions for them, then get the musicians to "set up" the way it
    > pleases us?


    Oh, so you want *any* musical work and your choice of recording technique
    at the same time. Well that would be a little difficult!

    > Not to mention the question of whether the performances are any good.
    > I'll take a great performance from the '30s over a mediocre one I've
    > recorded myself.


    Life does put a few constraints on our activities, doesn't it!

    ;-)

    > Trouble is, you've never heard GOOD surround sound.


    Claims of omniscience noted and dismissed because they are so completely
    unreasonable and out-of-place.

    >Over the years,
    > many people have said to me "I don't like quad/surround sound, but I
    > like YOUR system." That's because my surround systems were designed
    > and set up correctly.


    Given that you've gone off the deep end here Sommerwerck, I'm going to do
    you a favor and forget all of your comments after the claim of omniscience.
  8. Sugarite wrote...

    >> Trouble is, you've never heard GOOD surround sound. Over the years,
    >> many people have said to me "I don't like quad/surround sound, but
    >> I like YOUR system." That's because my surround systems were
    >> designed and set up correctly.


    > Oh, please. You sound like Wesley Snipes in White Men Can't Jump,
    > "You can listen to Jimi, but you can't HEAR him..."


    > My problem with surround sound isn't so much a matter of theory, but
    > implementation. From the engineering to the hardware design, it's all crap.


    In what way(s)? Be specific.


    > Then there's the issue of matching speakers and amps precisely, and
    > cost. (Tell me they don't have to match and I'll know you're full of crap.)


    They do. You're correct.


    > IMHO you don't need to be an audiophile to appreciate the fact that
    > better tone, timbre, and more precise imaging is more satisfying
    > than crap sound coming from all angles.


    You're absolutely right. But I've always owned matched, high-end surround
    systems. Sit still, because you're going to get very, very upset when you read
    the following.

    My current (and last!) system comprises four Apogee Divas (!!!), each biamped
    with a separate Krell KSA-250 (!!!), plus two Apogee Duetta Signatures, driven
    by a single KSA-150. There are two Krell KRC control centers, plus all the
    peripheral equipment required, including four-channel open-reel tape, various
    decoders/processors, and a high-end Sony SACD multi-channel player.

    Stop by and I'll give you a demo.
  9. You know Arny, I once called you an intellectual creep (or something similar). I
    was starting to feel guilty about that, but no longer do. You're an intellectual
    creep. Squared.

    What's wrong with you, anyway? How does someone who obviously has a genius-level
    IQ manage to get through life without having had his perceptions challenged, or
    attempting to step outside his prejudices and make at least a half-hearted
    effort to think clearly?

    You're much worse than an intellectual creep -- you're an intellectual dullard.


    >>> Well, we both record live performances, right? That means to me
    >>> that I don't have to depend on anybody to make recordings for us
    >>> that suit our tastes.


    >> I assume this is a joke.


    >> There are at least 250 major works of music that belong in any
    >> classical library. How are you or I supposed to attend 250 recording
    >> sessions for them, then get the musicians to "set up" the way it
    >> pleases us?


    > Oh, so you want *any* musical work and your choice of recording
    > technique at the same time. Well, that would be a little difficult!


    Of course. But that's what you recommended. You're playing the game of "change
    the subject when you can't win."


    >> Trouble is, you've never heard GOOD surround sound.


    > Claims of omniscience noted and dismissed because they
    > are so completely unreasonable and out-of-place.


    An odd remark, coming from someone who wants the world to believe everything he
    says is Absolute Fact.

    So... You've heard high-quality surround sound? Where? At Floyd Toole's house?
    HAR, HAR, HAR, HAR, HAR! For someone who claims he knows what's needed for good
    sound reproduction, he can't even get stereo right.

    Why don't you stop by sometime, Arny? Are you afraid you might hear surround
    sound you like?
  10. Arny Krueger

    Arny Krueger Guest

    "William Sommerwerck" <williams@nwlink.com> wrote in message
    news:vkjpmsovd1qkf4@corp.supernews.com...

    > You know Arny, I once called you an intellectual creep (or something

    similar). I
    > was starting to feel guilty about that, but no longer do. You're an

    intellectual
    > creep. Squared.


    > What's wrong with you, anyway?


    I like to deflate stuffed shirts, especially those wrapped around the
    bellies of those who think that they are omniscient, such as it appears to
    be yourself, Somewerck.

    >How does someone who obviously has a genius-level
    > IQ manage to get through life without having had his perceptions

    challenged, or
    > attempting to step outside his prejudices and make at least a half-hearted
    > effort to think clearly?


    Making ludicrous claims that can only be based on omniscience is not
    challenging perceptions, it's just plain stupid, non-adult behavior.

    > You're much worse than an intellectual creep -- you're an intellectual

    dullard.

    I knew that if I had to explain this to you Sommerwerck, it meant that you
    were incapable of understanding any reasonable explanation.

    > >>> Well, we both record live performances, right? That means to me
    > >>> that I don't have to depend on anybody to make recordings for us
    > >>> that suit our tastes.


    > >> I assume this is a joke.


    > >> There are at least 250 major works of music that belong in any
    > >> classical library. How are you or I supposed to attend 250 recording
    > >> sessions for them, then get the musicians to "set up" the way it
    > >> pleases us?


    > > Oh, so you want *any* musical work and your choice of recording
    > > technique at the same time. Well, that would be a little difficult!


    > Of course. But that's what you recommended. You're playing the game of

    "change
    > the subject when you can't win."


    No, I'm making the point that I think its senseless to whine about our
    perceptions of the technical inadequacies of commercial recordings when we
    seem to think we have the tools to do better ourselves.

    > >> Trouble is, you've never heard GOOD surround sound.


    > > Claims of omniscience noted and dismissed because they
    > > are so completely unreasonable and out-of-place.


    > An odd remark, coming from someone who wants the world to believe

    everything he
    > says is Absolute Fact.


    Not everything, just the things that are generally accepted as being facts.
    However given your command of modern audio science and art Sommerwerck, this
    would be yet another explanation that would be lost on you.

    > So... You've heard high-quality surround sound? Where? At Floyd Toole's

    house?

    Since I've never been to Floyd Toole's house, your claims of omniscience are
    clearly flying out the window, Sommerwerck.

    > HAR, HAR, HAR, HAR, HAR! For someone who claims he knows what's needed for

    good
    > sound reproduction, he can't even get stereo right.


    Not my problem Mr. Sommerwerck, and oh by the way, Toole's audios system
    would be completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

    > Why don't you stop by sometime, Arny?


    Judging by your ISP Somerswerck, you live someplace in the Pacific
    Northwest. I think it's pretty well known that I live in the Detroit area. I
    travel a fair amount but not near the Pacific Northwest. Being neither
    omniscient nor omnipresent I am obliged to decline at this time.

    >Are you afraid you might hear surround sound you like?


    Liking the surround sound I hear and having my ears thoroughly fooled would
    be two different things. But again, since I have to explain this seemingly
    obvious thing to you Sommerwerck, its clear to me that this and any other
    reasonable explanation is clear over your head.
  11. Rob Reedijk

    Rob Reedijk Guest

    Gord <gabasa@rogers.com> wrote:
    > If you're on a really tight budget and want something decent, I think
    > that old Marantz receivers from the '70s are great units. I think that
    > the ones with the silver colored faces on them sound great, and the
    > ones with the gold faces sound crappy. They're very different from one
    > another. You can get one of these units at a local pawn shop for less
    > than $100.


    > I paid about $80 USD for mine, and it sounds way fuller, clearer, and
    > more musical than my much newer $800 USD Yamaha receiver. Old silver
    > faced Marantz units blow away any Future Shop receivers IMO.


    > Try one. If you don't like it, they are easy to sell and you won't
    > lose any money on depreciation.


    The same can be said about 70s Pioneer receivers. There seems to be an
    endless supply of them out there and they sound pretty good compared
    to the junk you buy at Futureshop these days. And they shouldn't cost
    more than $50.

    Rob R.
  12. > Making ludicrous claims that can only be based on omniscience is
    > not challenging perceptions, it's just plain stupid, non-adult behavior.


    An amazing statement from someone who has shown little interest in ever having
    an intelligent conversation about anything. "My point of view is reasonable and
    correct. Anything that differs is wrong."


    > I knew that if I had to explain this to you Sommerwerck, it meant that
    > you were incapable of understanding any reasonable explanation.


    Of what? Of subject matter that you keep changing when the argument isn't going
    your way?


    > No, I'm making the point that I think its senseless to whine about our
    > perceptions of the technical inadequacies of commercial recordings
    > when we seem to think we have the tools to do better ourselves.


    A typical non-sequitur from a "change the subject" intellectual fascist.

    Why shouldn't we whine about it? J. Gordon Holt is an accomplished recordist,
    and he "whined" about lousy commercial recordings for decades.


    > Not everything, just the things that are generally accepted as being facts.
    > However given your command of modern audio science and art Sommerwerck,
    > this would be yet another explanation that would be lost on you.


    I'm not interested in what are generally considered to be facts. I'm interested
    in the truth.


    >> So... You've heard high-quality surround sound? Where?
    >> At Floyd Toole's house?


    > Since I've never been to Floyd Toole's house, your claims of omniscience
    > are clearly flying out the window, Sommerwerck.


    Is this another "joke"? Does sarcasm fly over your head?
  13. Tom

    Tom Guest

    Hi, There was a recent thread at the Audio Asylum on some inexpensive
    speakers that got two good reviews. I have pasted some excerpts below.

    Good Luck!

    Tom

    ...................................................

    Hi i am from .........., and i founded a REALLY good deal!! almost
    incredible! A store near my house sells a little bookshelf speakers
    made by omage * dont know this brand... but what the heck * They
    feature a 5.25 kevlar woofer, a Titanium tweeter and a bass reflex
    enclosure. They come in Black and light oak finish * the oak finish is
    pretty classy!* I was just stunt when i asked the price! 99$ can! that
    mean 64$ US the PAIR!!! lol the constrution is really solid, even the
    damping material is of good quality!!! lol If someone want to take a
    look they are still selling them on their web site... but they dont
    currently have a picture of them.
    The only thing i founded on internet on the omage is at this url:
    http://www.davecohifi.com/Files/Omage_catalogue.pdf
    its a PDF file where you can see their line up. the model at 64$ is
    the AV21 :)

    the store is this one: http://www.master-vox.com/index_e.html

    just type *omage* in the search box and the AV21 should be listed in
    first... :) They ship in Canada and US.

    One word about the sound of the AV21: Really good imaging, Really nice
    Bass for a speaker of this size! smooth tweeter... never aggressive!
    they sound like 300$ speakers! ( at least on my rotel... )

    hey i just remember... they have a 5 year warranty! pouhahaha
  14. On Sun, 24 Aug 2003 06:48:57 -0700, "William Sommerwerck"
    <williams@nwlink.com> wrote:

    >By the way, the SQ LP of "The Threepenny Opera" was (I am told) made in an
    >electronically minimalist fashion with the SQ version being created from the
    >direct mic feeds. It certainly sounds like it, as the end result (even after
    >being run through an SQ decoder) is close to audiophile quality.


    In honor of the 75th anniversary of opening, been playing this
    today. I really love the translation, and the band sounds great.
    Unfortunately no SQ here.

    >Arny Krueger wrote...
    >
    >> I'm of the opinion that the most useful parts of what is now called
    >> *surround sound* technology are subwoofers and center channel
    >> speakers. I've had those for over 25 years.


    Commercial subwoofers give the concept a bad name too often, but
    there are possibilities. God and the devil dwell together in
    the details.

    Center channels are a solid win. For nearfield, like in the study,
    at the computer, I like two centers, with 2/3 and 1/3 mix. Easy
    to do at speaker level with some 2 ohm resistors; works fine.


    Chris Hornbeck
  15. Arny Krueger wrote:
    >
    > Bottom line is that these old tube receivers were designed to beat weight
    > and heat constraints, and are highly compromised examples of the art of
    > tubed electronics.


    Most of them for sure. I garage-saled quite a few 5-30W tube units from
    Bell, Heathkit, and other less-known labels as a teenager. A friend has
    a positively gorgeous 80WPC Sherwood receiver with a copper chassis that
    had to weigh 75 pounds which sounded markedly better.

Share This Page