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Old 02-06-2021, 02:54 PM
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prepress prepress is offline
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Default Fantasies and Appreciating What You Have

I'm in one of my reflective moods again. This may mean I'm slipping further toward being a full-blown audiophile. I was sitting across from my system in silence, regarding all the gear from the oldest (Pioneer Elite LD player, 1999) to the newest (65" Sony A9G OLED, Oct/Nov 2020), and thoughts came to mind which I'll put here in case anyone can relate.

I realized that, despite believing I have a pretty good system, there are things I'd probably replace if finances agreed (they don't). I began thinking of what my "ultimate" fantasy system would be, and it's listed below, along with what would be replaced in parentheses. Notable to me is the inclusion of my turntable, since the SOTA was delivered less than a year ago:

Legacy Focus SE (Mirage M-3si)
Pro-Ject Xtension 12 (SOTA Sapphire)
Magnum Dynalab 107T or 108T SE (Magnum Dynalab 102)
Transparent Super IC (Transparent Plus)
Transparent Premium, Shunyata Venom NR10/12 PCs (Transparent HPPC)
Kimber 12TC
McIntosh MC501
Marantz SA-10, McIntosh MCD600 provided it doesn't use ESS chips (McIntosh MCD500)
McIntosh C2600, C2700, C52, C53, or VTL TL6.5 (McIntosh C2300)
Sony A9G OLED
Furman SPR20.1
Furman IT-Reference 15i
Pioneer Elite BDP-09FD
Pioneer Elite UDP-LX500 (Pioneer Elite 88FD)
Pioneer Elite DVL-91
Salamander Synergy (Sanus Euro)

Despite the above, over New Year's weekend a friend came over and I played Aquaman on BD for her, as she hadn't seen it. She had fun, and I enjoyed sharing it with her, re-engaging the system after another lull of interest. And last night I put on the BD of Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell. It sounded really good, rich, full, all the good stuff. This is played on an almost 12 year-old Pioneer Elite BD player, mind you. I was lost in the performance, not paying attention to the sound. I thought, "Why am I not spending more time with my system?" I wonder if the pandemic or the general stresses of my life as it is currently have led to this serious neglect. Did my getting COVID-19 last year start this downward trend to where I've paid little attention to what was supposed to provide entertainment and diversion, some refuge from the craziness? After I came home from the hospital last March, it was a month before I engaged the system in any way, and have not done so consistently since (I haven't played an album since July, for example).

It is time to put aside fantasies and ideas of what I'd replace or think I'd like to have and re-engage what I have, and learn (or re-learn) to appreciate it. Who knows, the fantasies and "what ifs" of new equipment may subside, or go away.
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SOTA, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP; Sony OLED TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner, antenna; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh SACD, preamp, power amps; Telefunken Black Diamond preamp tubes; Kimber IC; Transparent IC, SC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks

Last edited by prepress; 07-13-2021 at 07:10 AM. Reason: omission of equipment racks
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Old 02-06-2021, 03:01 PM
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Yamaki Yamaki is offline
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Time for you to Learn How To Listen again.

I have my ups and downs with my system too but I don't have any significant changes planned other than trying some tubes in my system. I've learned not to become overly critical or "anal"ytical about my system nor do I worry about what could be because I have not forgotten how good it can sound.

There are those times where my mind is open, unfettered by urgent matters or dealing with distractions, when my system continues to amaze me, please me and keeps me engaged for hours. I relish those times.

I hope you can re-engage with your system and enjoy it once more.
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2021, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaki View Post
Time for you to Learn How To Listen again.

I have my ups and downs with my system too but I don't have any significant changes planned other than trying some tubes in my system. I've learned not to become overly critical or "anal"ytical about my system nor do I worry about what could be because I have not forgotten how good it can sound.

There are those times where my mind is open, unfettered by urgent matters or dealing with distractions, when my system continues to amaze me, please me and keeps me engaged for hours. I relish those times.

I hope you can re-engage with your system and enjoy it once more.
It will take some intentional moves, to be sure. My schedule, as is, doesn't lend itself easily to sitting down and having a real listening session due to the short window between getting home and going to bed (even shorter if I make a trip to the gym). I've also been trying to watch my bedtime, even go to bed a bit earlier, which means my quiet time of at least 30 minutes before bed starts earlier. I also find lack of energy translates to lack of will. I think my best bet for quality time with the system may be weekends.
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SOTA, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP; Sony OLED TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner, antenna; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh SACD, preamp, power amps; Telefunken Black Diamond preamp tubes; Kimber IC; Transparent IC, SC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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Old 02-07-2021, 11:09 AM
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Macuser Macuser is offline
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Just to change things up and out of sheer boredom I put a Yaqin tube integrated in my all ss main rig for the past few days. This is a different presentation than what I'm used to and has given me an appreciation for what I have. Today I'm very much looking forward to removing the Yaqin (I've had enough) and going back to the way things were. Perhaps you could swap some gear and find that a substitution is just what the doctor ordered to be happy with what you have.
Of course there's always a chance that it could backfire and you'll need to give Ivan a call
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Old 02-08-2021, 04:36 AM
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It has happened to me as well, but from a different situation. Last year I was able to
get a great pair of well cared Audeze LCD-4s. After spending more time with them,
I have been enjoying a lot my music. Even so-so recordings come decent and for sure,
great ones are just unbelievable sounding.

Nowadays, the system is just used while watching movies which is alright, but the
two channel listening has taken a step back. Another little annoyance is that my
preamp is developing a 1db discrepancy between the right and the left channels
which affect the balance more than I didn't want to accept. It is noticeable and
at times distracting. I need to look into that at some point.

The last reason that I can attribute is the pandemia; while I enjoy that the whole
family is together, with my daughters large set of online regular and extra classes,
it restricts my chances of "awaking" the system, so I end up gladly with my newly cans.
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  #6  
Old 02-11-2021, 05:44 PM
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prepress prepress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piolaxo View Post
It has happened to me as well, but from a different situation. Last year I was able to
get a great pair of well cared Audeze LCD-4s. After spending more time with them,
I have been enjoying a lot my music. Even so-so recordings come decent and for sure,
great ones are just unbelievable sounding.

Nowadays, the system is just used while watching movies which is alright, but the
two channel listening has taken a step back. Another little annoyance is that my
preamp is developing a 1db discrepancy between the right and the left channels
which affect the balance more than I didn't want to accept. It is noticeable and
at times distracting. I need to look into that at some point.

The last reason that I can attribute is the pandemia; while I enjoy that the whole
family is together, with my daughters large set of online regular and extra classes,
it restricts my chances of "awaking" the system, so I end up gladly with my newly cans.
Good thing you have headphones, seems like. You can immerse yourself in your own space.

I still haven't played a record in ages or listened to more than one CD all the way through in a while; I haven't even played the system for background music whilst in the kitchen but once in the last several weeks. Here and there I've watched a piece of a blu-ray. Time issues, lack of energy, both are culprits in my case. The interest is still there, but the desire has faded. Maybe I need to buy something to get it back? But then I consider the turntable's plight and dismiss that idea. The only replacement on my "fantasy" list that has a real chance of happening is the power cords, and only if I'm willing to spend the money; right this minute, I'm not.
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SOTA, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP; Sony OLED TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner, antenna; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh SACD, preamp, power amps; Telefunken Black Diamond preamp tubes; Kimber IC; Transparent IC, SC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2021, 02:17 PM
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prepress prepress is offline
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I actually sat down and watched something start to finish, no small feat these days. I have several discs of various kinds bought previously but never watched.

A couple of evenings ago I watched Bluebird, a film about the famous Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and clocking in at 83 minutes. Although from Nashville and knowing of the place, I've never been there. The movie was interesting, and I came away with a greater appreciation for the craft of songwriting. I would recommend the film to any who are interested. Nice to see Taylor Swift perform something other than the pop stuff she does these days.

I was watching and listening. The sound was nice, the performances real, and I even knew a few of the songwriters interviewed by name. To hear them talk about the Bluebird and its place in music history brought home how special a place it is for singer-songwriters, and the music is the whole point of the place. People like Taylor Swift, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, and so many others got their start there.

It gets better. Tuesday I listened to two whole CDs (breakthrough!), When You Listen by the Lynn Arriale Trio and Hot Rocks by the Rolling Stones. I even snuck in "Poem 58" off Chicago Transit Authority. It was background music while cooking, to be frank, but the system was on. Maybe some mojo is returning.
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SOTA, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP; Sony OLED TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner, antenna; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh SACD, preamp, power amps; Telefunken Black Diamond preamp tubes; Kimber IC; Transparent IC, SC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks

Last edited by prepress; 03-21-2021 at 05:47 AM.
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:50 PM
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Weirdcuba Weirdcuba is offline
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Default Fantasies and Appreciating What You Have

I have spent many wonderful evenings in the Bluebird. I did not know they’d done a film about it. I saw Lyle Lovett open for Steve Earle there (or was it Steve Earle opening for Lyle Lovett).
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Old 03-21-2021, 05:45 AM
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prepress prepress is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weirdcuba View Post
I have spent many wonderful evenings in the Bluebird. I did not know they’d done a film about it. I saw Lyle Lovett open for Steve Earle there (or was it Steve Earle opening for Lyle Lovett).
The film was a 2019 Official Selection of the Nashville Film Festival, the Woods Hole Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival and some others. The copyright on the DVD is 2020, so it's quite recent. Looks and sounds that way, as well.

A bunch of other people have interview segments in the film but don't perform, such as Trisha Yearwood, Kacey Musgraves, Steve Earle, and Kathy Mattea. I hope the development and gentrification surges in Nashville don't swallow the Bluebird up.
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SOTA, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP; Sony OLED TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner, antenna; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh SACD, preamp, power amps; Telefunken Black Diamond preamp tubes; Kimber IC; Transparent IC, SC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:13 AM
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Speaking of fantasies, I have, as reported in my power cord thread, ordered three Transparent Premium power cords to replace the Transparent HPPCs on my SACD, Blu-ray, and tuner pieces. I'm utilizing Transparent's upgrade program to do this and to save some money over buying something else straight up (Shunyata NR10s or NR12s) and having the extraneous PCs lying around, adding to my clutter. The Premiums were ordered Friday from a local dealer I've dealt with before. My LD player has a C7P Jewel AC from PS Audio; not sure if I'll do anything about that one yet.

Since the Premiums do represent a stopping point (for power cords they do, anyway), I should be able to sit back and just listen. I need to do more listening, I think. If I go for the LD player's PC, my best option is a Venom V14 Digital cord, more for consistency than anything else; then all my aftermarket cords would be either Transparent or Shunyata.

I also notice I forgot equipment racks in my initial post, so I will go back and update. Racks are part of the system, too.
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SOTA, Grado, SME, Gingko turntable setup; Pioneer Elite LD, BDP; Sony OLED TV; Magnum Dynalab tuner, antenna; MIT S-video cable; Pangea HDMI cables; DVDO video processor; McIntosh SACD, preamp, power amps; Telefunken Black Diamond preamp tubes; Kimber IC; Transparent IC, SC; Mirage speakers; PS Audio, Transparent, Shunyata PCs; Audio Additives RCA caps; Furman power conditioning; Sanus: racks

Last edited by prepress; 03-31-2021 at 10:19 AM.
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