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About Headcoat

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  1. The Flash - I'll take this please. PM sent.
  2. Anecdotal. I'm pondering a new phono stage. I've also jusy bought a Loki to eq. My hearing ain't good, moderate loss at both ends of spectrum. The eq is to drop the mids off to adjust for this hearing loss. I also like bass and find some recordings push the mids too high in pursuit of detail, this is umpleasant to me. Due to what I can only term audio nervosa my mind can lock to a kind of acute listening state. With new kit (eq) and the notion of buying a new phono pre I would expect to find it plays tricks and focus on that sepcific mid range frequency I refer to above. Listening last night, both tired and somewhat locked into the acute listening state, I found almost everything difficult to enjoy, often even thinking there was mid-exaggeration despite me tweaking the eq down in that range. Then I read the speaker cable length anecdote. Bam. Almost immediately the mid flipped back, I began to enjoy the music and get in the groove. On the other hand, I've finally hooked up the two pairs of speakers to the same amp: one in kitchen/dining room and the other in the living room; simply walk between the rooms to hear the difference speakers and room can make. The living room is reasonably furnished: wooden floors but rugs; sofas; book and recors shelfs. The kitchen/dining room is sparsely furnished: tiled floor, huge room with high ceilings, lots of tall windows; a reflective nightmare. The difference is singinificant, much much brighter, harsher and almost hollow in the kitchen/diner. I'm working on getting the lovely lady to allow a large rug under the dining room table, speakers are ten foot up on shelf above said table. If anyone knows of small to medium sized bookshelf speakers that might negate such a horrible acoustice room then fire away. I'm using Revolver R16s for now, which aren't exactly bright or revealing.
  3. Very enjoyable anecdote. I'm going through similar right now, not to do with speaker cable lenghts, and too long and boring a story to tell in full; essentially my mind is fixing on a perceived via bias negative replay in a very similar way. It's extremely frustrating. I agree, clearly bias exists and is/can be very strong. I'm probably not articulating this very well, but way back my point was this bias could also work in reverse in a blind test environment where we feel under pressure / compelled (for want of better words) to identify a difference i.e. masking the faculties ability to hear a difference. Though of course, with loudspeakers we're likely to choose a preference in a DBT (which kind of mutes my idea), amplifiers apparently not. Edit: just read the post above saying how hi fi journos couldn't reliably identify speakers in a blind test either, that would suggest perhaps there is some sort of issue with blind testing... given we're all likely to be in agreement that speakers can and do sound different...
  4. Wow. Just watched that clip, incredible. Eye opening in fact. Fascinating.
  5. Thank you, of course yes, sight can impact how we perceive sound and visa versa. In the case of the 44 it wasn't the fact it was ugly made it sound bad, it was either it sounded different to the 34, or something was amiss which servicing didn't correct, or my cabling was damaged etc. I was simply being light hearted in saying it's ugly casing caused me to hear it subjectively based on it's looks. I think all of us take an analytical and emotional approach to hi-fi; even the most subjective of listeners, of which I am not one.
  6. Headcoat

    Phono pre-amp

    Nope as said in post, the eq sits between sources and integrated. The integrated doesn't have power-in, it does have pre-out. So I plug DAC and phono stage into eq and eq into integrated. Eq can sit before the pre-amp, it doesn't have to sit between ore and power. There's no tape loop either on the integrated.
  7. Headcoat

    Phono pre-amp

    So in buying an eq/extended tone control, I now need to consider a phono pre-amp. Sadly due to the nature of my integrated I can't put the eq between pre and power stages. The eq has to sit between sources and amp. Been happy with the onboard phono stage in the NAD C368. I have an Art DJ 2 phone pre in storage I could use. But the bug has bitten and I wonder if I can improve on the Art. My deck is a Project Debut 3 Audiophile with the Ortofon Pick It 25A cartridge and either the Pick It stylus or an OM20. Amp as mentioned is a NAD C368, main speakers Revolver Music 1s. Will investing upto £150 net me any gains ,objectively or subjectively (in your opinions), over the ART? Been looking at the Schiit Mani and various Project Phono boxes (bit confused if there is any sonic difference between the Phonobox with MM and MC and the basic Phonobox MM). I've no intention of getting a MC cart so MC loading options are irrelevant. Stick or twist... ?
  8. Comsider that the answer may not, as is often the case, be binary. It could be many factors, in fact I suspect it is.
  9. Yes, I had heard of those tests previously. Certainly the results are, to a lrage degree, convincing. At the same time I wonder how well we operate when looking for differences, just as I am also well aware when listening sighted all sorts of bias comes into play. I often as an evening progresses find music can sound hugely different: it tends to improve with first few drinks, sometimes gets worse with too many, sometimes even better with too many, my mood comes into play, expectation bias often bites, the recording, is the kit new?, am I listening for differences because I'm thinking of changing something, and a multitude of other factors... unlike sight I'm sure hearing is much more subject to psychological effects, I think we would all agree on that. The question is under conditions where we are positively listening for difference, blind or sighted, can we really trust 100% our hearing/the results. Quad pre-amps, I had a 34 and a 44 serviced by Quad some years ago. The 44 always sounded awful to me and the 34 good. That was listening over a long time. Perhaps there was something wrong with the 44, which would be a shame as Quad were meant to have checked all that out (measurements), maybe I had some bias against it - it always looked awful to my eyes. Anyways, I'm going on, to some extent I entirely agree with your point, but there is an equal part of me that just doesn't think all amps sound the same.
  10. I might well be. I still wouldn't be entirely convinced either way though. Keeping an open mind I would still have to allow for the fact that I might hear no difference as a. The difference is subtle, and might only be conveyed over a longer time and in a more relaxed environment and b. By listening for differences, which is exactly the purpose of any comparisoon, my brain will immediately be in a biased state which could lead to blocking out differences. Out of curiosity are you saying a valve amp will sound identical to a SS with levels matched?
  11. No, point being the mind can play tricks either way. Blind testing is far from perfect and not a natural scenario, unsighted cognitive bias can and will likely play a role. That cogntive bias might be I can't hear a difference. It's paradoxicall but listening for a difference can actually, due to the way the mind works, prevent us from hearing differences that are there. Of course if one has zen master like control of the mind an effective and objective/unbiased blind testing could be undertaken. I buy well made cheap cables btw and very much doubt cables, as long as well made and suitable, make a difference.
  12. In other words listening blind will also allow the mind to play tricks and likely hear a. Differences that aren't there or b. Not hear differences that are there. If you say to someone can you hear a difference, unsighted or sighted, then immediately the brain can and will start to play tricks.
  13. Of course, listening sighted we are at the mercy of bias. I actually said exactly that. My point was suggesting that listening unsighted *also* had it's pitfalls, mainly the issues around being in a scenario where one is listening actively for difference or no difference and the complex interplay of cognitive/expecttion bias the brain happily creates for itself in this scenario.
  14. Whilst making no inference to kit sounding the same or different, the concept of blind testing is surely flawed due to the nature of the mind. Once we start to listen for differences we are at the mercy of all sorts of expectation or cognitive bias. And listen for differences is surely what we will do. Somewhat paradoxically listening for a difference, without any cue, might well make distinguishing a difference almost impossible; under pressure we may well miss differences. On the other hand listening sighted over an extended period while potentially allowing the mind to settle to a point of where differences may be observed will also open up a can of worms in terms of expectation and cognitive bias. There's so many variables at play that I'm really not sure listening alone can settle if, or if not, amps, DACS, cables etc sound any different in level matched scenarios. Likewise measurements are only what we know now, though a good reference point they are likely to be far from everything.
  15. Aye, I'm around that. However, there's no power amp in, only a pre-amp out. This is to allow connection to a second power amp. Nor is there a tape loop. In my scenario, unless I change amps, eq must go before amplification.