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About Jules_S

  • Rank
    Are we there yet?

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  • Turn Table
    Pro-ject Essential
  • Tone Arm & Cartridge
    Goldring 1042
  • SUT / Phono Stage
    TT M.A.C.
  • Digital Source 1
    Cambridge 740C
  • Digital Source 2
  • Integrated Amp
    An A/V thingy..
  • My Speakers
    QAcoustics Concept40
  • Headphones
    Etymotic ER4
  • Trade Status
    I am not in the Hi-Fi trade

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  1. Jules_S

    Ortofon Cartridge Experience Tour

    That sounds like a really useful way to get to know a particular manufacturer's range and ethos (as long as you avoid being tempted to spend that bit more money than you were planning, because the next cart up in the range is "just that bit better"...) Shame there's no dealers particularly close to my location (Oxford is the closest and that's just too far for me). Hope you enjoy the experience, do let us know how it goes
  2. Hi all At present I'm using a Pioneer VSX-2021 AV amp for both multi-channel and 2-channel duties. I've an Oppo BDP-73 (I think that's the right model! Blu-Ray player which doesn't see much use any more, the most recent Apple TV 4K and Sky Q on the AV side, and my turbocharged Pro-Ject Essential turntable / Tube Tech MAC phono stage and a Cambridge 740C CD player on the 2-channel. All goes to a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 40 for front main duties, with a Concept Centre for, er, the centre and Concept 20's for the surround rears. There's a Cambridge sub for multi-channel duties. In short, the Pioneer isn't very good at all with 2-channel stuff, and it uses too much electricity. I'm looking to try and boost the performance of 2-channel audio while reducing my energy consumption. I'm looking for an amp that will do duty as the heart of the 2-channel setup and also integrate with the AV system, so I'm after something with an HT bypass input that will stand me in good stead for a few system upgrades without getting out of its depth. I'm considering my options in the Class-D world for both the stereo / front amp and also for the surround channels for the AV bit. Currently on my shortlist for contenders are the Primare I25 and the NAD M10 for the main amp, and something along the lines of the Box Designs Amp Box DS2, which I think should be more than powerful enough for surround duties. However, the real question is how to handle the AV audio processing. What I'm trying to avoid is having to use an integrated AV amp as that means having channels of amplification I'm not using (the main front pair) and the power consumption that goes with it. So I was wondering about going down the route of dedicated AV surround processors. However... The only name I really know in that line of product is Lexicon, which is at a level WAY above what I'm looking to achieve. So, are there other companies making this sort of product at a more modest price point (~£1000-ish)? I don't need Atmos capability - I thought about pulling the lounge apart and wiring properly for ceiling mounted effects channels etc but I've decided against that. So 5.1 / 7.1 is quite sufficient. Don't need hundreds of bells and whistles, and I don't listen to multichannel audio only, a couple of music Blu-Rays excepted. I'd be grateful for your thoughts on what's available, and if there's another way to achieve the aim. If I can't keep the overall idling power consumption down to less than the Pioneer I've already got, there's not a lot of point changing! Thanks a lot Jules
  3. Jules_S


    Despite having made a career in the I.T. industry, like a lot of people I really am confused when it comes to file-based / streaming audio systems. There seem to be so many formats, so many ways to organise your data, so many ways to access that data, so many ways to set up a system to access and "play" those files. Throw in the additional complexities of trying to use mobile devices to access those files (and the lack of format support on certain fruit-themed devices, especially hi-res formats...) and it just looks like a bloody minefield to me. That said, I have gone as far as ripping all my CDs to WAV and whacking them all on a NAS at home, for replay via Sonos. But this is purely for the purposes of enabling a relatively inexpensive multi-room audio setup, where non-critical listening is the name of the game (background music while cooking, singing in the shower, etc). If I want to relax with some good tunes and listen properly, it's CD or good old fashioned vinyl for me - simple, effective, pleasurable. OK, it's true that setting up a turntable can be a dark art in itself (especially more complex suspended designs) but at least I can get my head around mechanical issues and the basic concepts of physics involved! And if audio files seem complex, don't even start me on video, with all those combinations of formats for the video itself, the accompanying audio, what "container" to put them in...
  4. Jules_S

    Anyone heard the new NAD M10?

    So a typically "pink fish" response then. Bet they loved the Atom though... (and I'm not knocking either the NAD or the Naim BTW. I had a brief opportunity to hear the NAD at a local dealer, it wasn't a full "sit down and listen" audition but it sounded pretty decent - like most NAD kit really, it got on with the job without any great fuss, and made a thoroughly enjoyable sound with a pair of B&W standmounts (from memory I think they were something like 602s). Not had an opportunity to hear the latter.
  5. Jules_S

    Simple system.

    Sometimes it's the simple stuff that A/ just works, B/ isn't fussy or demanding and C/ delivers enjoyment way beyond its price tag. Glad you're enjoying it!
  6. Jules_S

    DCT (deep cryogenic treatment)

    Beer is the greatest improvement anyone can ever make to their hi-fi
  7. Jules_S

    DCT (deep cryogenic treatment)

    Couldn't agree more. Does it really matter whether or not there is a genuine, measurable difference, or just a perceived difference, as long as the end result makes someone happy? (strictly speaking, even if the product, treatment or whatever costs more than most people would consider rational)
  8. Jules_S

    The ‘end game’?

    Tin, MartinC and all Thanks for taking the time to explain the reasoning behind the DSP optimisation. From what you say it seems as though the biggest efforts (and expected gains) are to do with the lower frequencies. And I can understand how massively "excitable" (?) room nodes that generate significant increases or decreases in decibel level for specific frequencies compared to other close frequencies are best dealt with. I suppose what I don't get is that past the point of dealing with glaring issues such as these, where do you stop fiddling and tuning and adjusting, and when is it really no longer beneficial (i.e. ending up spending more time listening to the room acoustic rather than the music)? From a personal perspective, I can live with some unevenness in the frequencies as long as I'm enjoying the performance. Not that I'm knocking it, ultimately it comes down to satisfying our individual desires. And on that note, it's great to read about all these people who've reached, or nearly reached, their end game. You lucky people! I shall look forward to joining you in a few years.....or maybe decades!
  9. Jules_S

    The ‘end game’?

    Like I said earlier, horses for courses really. At the risk of stoking controversy, I would venture that far from us all looking for the same thing, we are actually all looking for something different, and therefore any conversation that goes along the lines of "my point of view is the right one and everyone else's is wrong" are completely null and void. Everyone listens differently, and puts greater or lesser emphasis on different elements of the sound they hear or the importance of non-audio factors. If you want to faff around with circular bits of black plastic (as I do) then fine. If streaming's your bag, then fine. Let's be honest, none of these things is ever going to truly recreate the experience of hearing music played live, whether it's a full-on aural assault at a death metal gig, or a string quartet in a tent. I would also like to ask the question, what exactly is it that people doing room acoustic analysis and tuning are looking to achieve? And this is a genuine question, not meant to be some sort of sarky remark. What does the "end game" of that work look like? To my mind, unless there's some really really horrendous issues with the room, then leave well enough alone. Even if you ended up with some sort of "perfect" environment in which your system can operate (whatever that is), there's still the question of the original acoustic in which the recording was made. Those rooms (recording studios excepted, perhaps) are going to have their own sonic signature, with nodes and suckouts and all those things. So even if your domestic environment is "perfect", you'll still hear the inconsistencies of the source anyway, so why worry? Chill out, enjoy the music on an emotional level and don't sweat about the imperfections! Peace and love to all. P.S. I think I've worked out that my "end game" is not a hugely-expensive high end system that I'm going to spend all my time fretting over the detail of. It's going to be a "good enough" setup that just boogies!
  10. Jules_S

    The ‘end game’?

    I've owned some pretty decent bits of hi-fi equipment in the past, and then through various reasons, have ended up with almost nothing left from what I had. So I am currently nowhere near to anything I would call an "end game", basically having started again from the bottom up. And I have to say, I'm having fun doing it. That said, the more I think about it, the less I'm sure what an "end game" would look like. Thinking back on past experiences, there are a handful of times when I've been absolutely gobsmacked by the music I've heard, and thought "that's it! that's exactly what I want for myself". But the equipment on which that music was reproduced varied wildly from bargain-basement commercial products, to mad-as-a-box-of-frogs homebrew horns the size of Saturn to systems in the sort of price bracket where only lottery-winners need apply. And in each of those categories, I've heard the jaw-droppingly good as well as the cataclysmically-bad. In each case though, the trick the truly memorable systems have managed to pull off is to effectively make themselves irrelevant, and just let the music shine through without impeding on it. And that's nothing to do with frequency response curves, PRAT, imaging, dynamics, SPL, etc. Obviously some of the more affordable systems have restricted lower frequencies, or a lack of absolute clarity. But what all the truly great systems have shared is this intangible sense of "rightness", when you feel that nothing else except the music matters, and what you're hearing is about as good as you're ever going to hear. Maybe it's a combination of all of the above things I mentioned? Maybe it's something else entirely. Either way I suspect that "rightness" (perhaps I should call it the "smile factor"!) is an impossible thing to measure, because it's not a simple, single metric for which you can whip out a piece of measuring equipment and quantify. And that, I suspect, is what keeps so many of us on the "change and upgrade" path, because there's no hard and fast rule about what bits of kit are going to deliver the nirvana we're looking for. And that, I think, is why it's possible to get as much pleasure out of a system assembled from £500 worth of second hand equipment from the 1940's, as it is from a multi-million pound setup in an acoustically-treated environment. If it gets my foot tapping and me singing and dancing around like a twat (I blame that on the wine consumption really...) then it's got my vote. I fully appreciate that in this bonkers pastime of ours, there's a whole spectrum of people from those who are simply obsessed with the stats and the numbers, and getting as close as possible to the theoretically-perfect, to those who couldn't give a toss about how anything measures as long as it sounds good. Or how it looks. Whereas for others the aesthetics are equally (or more) important than sound. Or think of hi-fi, like collectible cars or fine wine (here I go again!) as a status-symbol. Or simply that they get pleasure from the quality of the engineering. And that's all fine, there isn't a right and wrong in this game. It's whatever floats your boat. For me, I think I err more on the anti-measurement end of things, beyond any practical (and safety-related!) things that need to be considered. That's probably down to me not being an electronics engineer by trade, and a suspicion that there's rather too much "emperor's new clothes" that masks any genuine science, making it impossible to tell truth from fiction. Hi-fi, although an enjoyable pursuit in its own right, is simply a means to an end for me, and that is to connect me on an emotional level to the music that I love. Now, where's that bottle opener gone?
  11. Fab! Looking forward to it. I'd be happy to bring the 40's along for a workout somewhen. As long as it's only the speakers that get "stretched" in the playroom!
  12. Oops, accidental double-post
  13. Could I put myself on the reserve list please, if someone is unable to make it? (noting your limit on the number of peeps). Not sure I have any kit worth contributing but it would be great to meet up with some of you and hear some new stuff
  14. Jules_S

    Quick question - cart set up and phono stages

    Wow, a lot of threads on the subject get pretty in-depth pretty quickly, don't they? Perhaps I'm more stupid than I thought I was... I'll keep looking though. Thanks!
  15. I thought the aim was usually more aligned to alcohol consumption... Part of the fun of this hobby is kit-swapping - finding out what works with what. Unfortunately I think for a lot of us it's just financially impossible to keep buying and selling stuff to do that, so maybe this would give us "audio paupers" a chance to finally hear x CD player with y amp and speakers, etc. Maybe that could be a suggestion for a room - anyone with a hankering to get certain bits of kit together, post a suggestion, and collectively we can see if we can get it together for the show? What about a "boogie" challenge? Systems that get the most people foot-tapping or dancing? (Caveat: clothes MUST be worn at all times! I've seen what significant alcohol consumption does at previous Scalfords...and no disrespect, but none of us are a treat for the eyes )