MarcusB

Blank Canvas

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Just now, MGTOW said:

No one is suggesting that MQA files, (or 24/96+ files for that matter) are not, in some cases, the best versions of a particular recording.

What is being questioned is why that is the case.

I understand the enthusiasts desire to have the best version of any recording, it is my contention that such quality could and should be available, as standard, on any Cd or CD standard lossless or download/stream. It is perfectly possible to do this but the industry is not really interested (except when their is money in it), for reasons listed in my earlier post

I totally understand your point with this but the flip side is that these companies are both a) in it to profit (re-issue, re-master, new format (I had a mini disc player....) and b) they cater to the masses, the masses being my kids who just want to hear the latest ditty from this summers favourite ‘banger’ with zero interest in what we here listen for.

We are a minority and in the search for our version of perfection we are more exploitable than our kids! We tweak and fiddle, upgrade and tweak some more because it’s our hobby and our love. So why would they give us the ‘best option’ if they don’t need to?

So do I agree that we should be given MQA or DSD or whatever today’s best is as standard?

Hell yes!

Will it ever happen?

Not a chance s long as money is available. 

Am I being sucked into wanting MQA? Absolutely. But because I know that whatever format I choose someone somewhere will be making a dollar from it, but my requirements are the best sound traded off against simplicity of use.

When I started on my hi-fi journey it was a room full of vinyl and knowing my listening bursts would never be more than 20 minutes before changing side and knowing that the sound I wanted cost money. Now great sound is much more easily accessed and our library is bordering on infinite and I for one am grateful for it. 🤫

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58 minutes ago, MGTOW said:

No one is suggesting that MQA files, (or 24/96+ files for that matter) are not, in some cases, the best versions of a particular recording.

What is being questioned is why that is the case.

I understand the enthusiasts desire to have the best version of any recording, it is my contention that such quality could and should be available, as standard, on any Cd or CD standard lossless or download/stream. It is perfectly possible to do this but the industry is not really interested (except when their is money in it), for reasons listed in my earlier post

I would agree with your point MGTOW ..I know that it is probably not fair. But that is the way the world is. Manufacturers charge us for better kit, and so do the labels for better recorded ones 

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9 hours ago, MarcusB said:

I totally understand your point with this but the flip side is that these companies are both a) in it to profit (re-issue, re-master, new format (I had a mini disc player....) and b) they cater to the masses, the masses being my kids who just want to hear the latest ditty from this summers favourite ‘banger’ with zero interest in what we here listen for.

We are a minority and in the search for our version of perfection we are more exploitable than our kids! We tweak and fiddle, upgrade and tweak some more because it’s our hobby and our love. So why would they give us the ‘best option’ if they don’t need to?

So do I agree that we should be given MQA or DSD or whatever today’s best is as standard?

Hell yes!

Will it ever happen?

Not a chance s long as money is available. 

Am I being sucked into wanting MQA? Absolutely. But because I know that whatever format I choose someone somewhere will be making a dollar from it, but my requirements are the best sound traded off against simplicity of use.

When I started on my hi-fi journey it was a room full of vinyl and knowing my listening bursts would never be more than 20 minutes before changing side and knowing that the sound I wanted cost money. Now great sound is much more easily accessed and our library is bordering on infinite and I for one am grateful for it. 🤫

+1 Marcus.

I have just purchased several new SACDs at a premium over CD. Money well spent for my future listening pleasure.

Given your "Blank Canvas" situation, I would probably abandon discs and go for Tidal/MQA. 

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Sorry for coming to this thread a bit late in the day.

Firstly, my musical tastes are very wide, and take in soul, rock, big band, easy listening, classical, AOR, etc. etc. My system therefore has to be good at everything from Motörhead to Marvin Gaye to Mendelssohn, and from Slade to SOS Band to Sinatra.

For all of this, I have Croft amplification driving Russell K Red 150s, and it’s a wonderful combination.

The Red 150s aren’t super-efficient, however, so a standard Croft set-up might struggle if you like to go really loud. However, your room is smaller than mine, so it might be fine.

My Croft set-up is: -

1)A Micro 25 preamp with built-in phono preamp, modified to have a single motorised volume control and a separate balance control, plus a mono switch for, amongst other reasons, my old mono vinyl.

2) A Series 7 power amp, modified by Glenn Croft to give ~ 90W/channel.

This has left me in a very nice place.

In terms of amplification, I would consider going for ‘vanilla’ Croft separates to give you maximum upgrade potential and take it from there. If vinyl isn’t essential on day 1, then get a line-only Micro 25, for instance. I suggest separates because two small boxes offer more room for enlarged power supplies and additional circuitry etc. than one small and tightly packed box.

From my perspective, Croft is superb sounding kit and also excellent value for money.

That, plus cables and interconnects will probably eat up half of your budget unless you can buy used.

As for speakers, you really need to do some home auditioning. You might even want to try Russell K Red 120s, since they might better suit the size of your room.

At a lower budget, you might want to try Heco Elementa 300 or 700 speakers. I’m suggesting these because my local dealer, Deco Audio, stocks them, because they tend to stock items that they really like and because they look for products that offer good musicality, communication and timing. The Heco speakers are also more efficient, and will be more easily driven by 45W/channel.

By the way, Red 150s are available at excellent prices right now because the replacement SE version is about to land at an eye watering price. If you can get some ex-demo ones then they’ll also have been run in, which is never a bad thing.

Additionally, the Red 150s might be lifelong keepers since they will probably far survive more upgrades to other parts of the system than lesser speakers.

Regarding streaming, I have a Bluesound Vault 2, which is a Node 2 with the added ability to rip to its own internal 2TB NAS (network attached storage) drive, and it sounds good on it’s own, but even better when played through an external DAC. I now use an Audio Note DAC 0.1x and it’s superb, BUT you need not buy that on day 1.

Your challenge is your budget, and £4,000 means that you can’t have it all on Day 1, but if you buy wisely then you’ll buy kit that’s either upgradeable or that sells well used, thus reducing your overall outlay.

Finally, I would strongly suggest home auditioning, especially for the speakers, since  all speakers have their own individual character, as do your room and your ears.

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Hi MarcusB and newlash09,

Whilst what you both say is quite true, it kind of misses the point.

Truly excellent quality is available from CD standard releases, be it hard copy or digital file. However this requires the industry to make the best product that they can, from recording through to consumer product.

The industry, for one reason or another fails to do that unless there is money involved.

If the CD was made to the best possible standards that the format allows and an even better standard of performance was available at extra cost should you wish to pay for it, then that would be absolutely fine, no problems there.

It is the fact that the industry fails to make the best product that it can, then charges extra for the quality product that it could easily have produced in the first place. Even worse, it then attempts to justify the extra prices with techno babble about the non-existent superiority of 'hi-res'.

I call bullsh*t.

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