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was_a

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About was_a

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  1. Timing is for me an interesting subject in hi-fi. Too much transient attack sounds unnatural, and many CD players and DACs, and amplifiers with very high slew rates, are guilty of this. A lot of people think that the faster the attack, the better the timing. Not so. In a good system, the reproduction of a small jazz ensemble will get the toes tapping because of the life-like transient response of individual instruments. When snare and hi-hat, a trumpet, a sax, enter and overlap, you can clearly hear the different moments - or times - that they do so. Looser rhythms, if you will. You can hear the start, harmonic middle, and decay of each note so that there's a relaxed space between them. In jazz terms - the band really swings! In a poorer system, these rhythmic overlays sound artificially tight, and the instruments interact like synced midi devices. In this respect, a digital waveform has a harder job than pure analogue (I'm not technically qualified to talk about jitter, noise etc). In general, a good turntable has better timing than a CD player. One of the best digital systems I've heard comprised a Metronome disc spinner, Boulder pre- and power-amp, and Kharma floorstanders. The timing was excellent.
  2. I agree that the LS50s are not for everyone. Type LS50 into Google and it's seemingly the most praised speaker in modern times. This started with a terribly biased British Hi-fi media, and online forums followed suit. The LS50 has an uncoloured mid-range, and this is its main strength. The treble is very transparent, so it requires a very good upstream source and plenty of current. As the previous post points out, things become thin and brittle in the wrong system; in most setups I've heard, this is the main problem. When the LS50s are properly positioned the bass is tight and even, if a little boxy given the small size of these transducers. But again, many owners use them as desktop speakers or in very small spaces - no good! Personally I would look at Australian brand Legend for a similarly distortion-free sound signature and, in my opinion, better tonality.
  3. Thanks for your latest comparisons. Even with lowly YouTube resolution it's easy to hear the differences between Ares II and Terminator. And the Ares ain't no slouch!! That slightly fuller (less controlled?) mid-bass suits acoustic pieces like this. Thanks again.
  4. I wonder if you could find out what type of wood it is. (I presume you know the manufacturer and could ask?). Nice looking rack.
  5. You'll need to upgrade to Win10.
  6. Last year Audirvana for Windows (10) was released. The most up-to-date version is terrific - and converts to DSD using less resources than most.
  7. My best of 2019 roughly in descending order: Popular Raphael Saadiq - Jimmy Lee Veteran R&B artist Raphael Saadiq has sculptured a jewel with his fifth release, Jimmy Lee. It is rich with stylistic and melodic ideas, and as cohesive as classics of yesteryear. Modern-day production doesn't mask a soulful sensibility throughout. Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka Musically inspired with some unmistakable moments of beauty, Kiwanuka is marginally let down by brick-walling that is most noticeable in the busier songs. Regardless, British-Ugandan Michael Kiwanuka has outdone himself with an album equal to anything in the soul-jazz canon (think Terry Callier, Andy Bey, Roy Ayers, Blood Sweat & Tears...). Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel Dublin five-piece Fontaines D.C. have left pretty deep footprints with their spirited neo-punk debut, Dogrel. Equal parts angry snarl and urban poetry, these are improbably accomplished songs for such fresh explorers. A band to follow. Little Simz - Grey Area Best rap album of 2019, though one shouldn't confine such a tasteful record to a single genre. London-born Little Simz (Simbi Ajikawo) is powerful and authentic in her delivery, while her funky tunes unfold with an almost graceful ease. Sigrid - Sucker Punch Maiden album by Norwegian popster Sigrid, replete with charming and deceptively good songs. A standout in what has been a strong year for music. Aldous Harding - Designer New Zealand songstress Aldous Harding beguiles us with her third folk-coloured offering, Designer. Her inviting voice and lushly appealing backdrop are evident from the off, but the consistent songcraft is what holds our attention. I Prevail - Trauma Michigan's I Prevail reinvigorate the Linkin Park metal+rap+melody formula with their sophomore album Trauma, and it works almost as well as the trailblazers' Hybrid Theory and Meteora. This year's guilty pleasure. Classical Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad" - Jansons, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks With Mariss Jansons' passing last month we lost the world's greatest contemporary conductor, and this recording with his beloved Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra is a fine testament to his artistry. The Leningrad isn't easy to pull off, but Jansons has a natural affinity with the work as evinced by his previous recordings with the Leningrad Philharmonic and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. With the BRSO he gives his players near autonomy in the symphony's starker moments, then stirs up yearning crescendos in the climaxes. His latest reading can stand beside Bernstein's legendary 1988 account with the Chicago Symphony. Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 - Honeck, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Manfred Honeck's interpretations are nothing if not self-assured, and happily his conception of Bruckner's 9th is utterly convincing. Sweeping phrases are crafted with subtle rubato and themes are linked seamlessly throughout. On some Pittsburgh Symphony albums the bass instruments compound to muddy proportions, but Reference Recordings has done a fine job here. Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op. 109, 110, 111 - Steven Osborne As concert-goers will tell you, Scottish pianist Steven Osborne plays with a wonderful sensitivity — a sincerity, that favours the composer's leanings over the performer's. In this context, when spontaneity arrives it is pertinent and natural. Osborne also brings great clarity and drive to louder, complex passages: what a great recipe for Beethoven's last three sonatas. The sound of Hyperion's Steinway is pristine, although the treble does tend towards hardness during Beethoven's fortissimos.
  8. The next step up would be a sensible design with Teflon insulation. I keep a roll of Atlas Hyper 3.0 (also discontinued) which is really nice for most speaker loads. You can still find this online.
  9. Yep, very well spotted... Some investigation on Google might turn up some, or similar.
  10. Blue 'monitor' cable I bought this in bulk a few years ago, and it has seen off a few 'audiophile' cables in my various systems. It delivers a nicely balanced sound and I've enjoyed it with expensive setups. Metallurgy (materials as well as design) and insulation distinguish high-end cables from the crowd, but in my (costly!) experience it's these very 'experiments' that mess with sound quality.
  11. Audirvana (for Windows 10) does a nice job upsampling to DSD, and uses less resources than other alternatives. But like others have said, you need a bigger computer.
  12. I agree with some of the above. The de-aging technology wasn't distracting to me; I soon forgot about it. However, the script was...forgettable! Certainly not enticing or substantial enough to carry a three-and-a-half-hour movie. We get a lot of De Niro - too much, because ironically his Irish-man is under-developed so the actor doesn't really have a chance to show many layers of the character. I think some frugal editing might have made him more effective. There is plenty for Pacino to sink his teeth into as Jimmy Hoffa, and he's great. Like Zippi said above, Pesci is utterly marvellous as a mob puppeteer, and it's the performance of his career. Ultimately the movie was disappointing, and only makes Once Upon a Time in Hollywood an even better movie of the year.
  13. Gidday Dennis, Dunno what your CD player is, but even most high-end ones have very average headphone outputs (if at all). A headphone amp would definitely improve your listening pleasure. I'd say it's mandatory. Look at the Graham Slee Solo models - if you're patient you'll find a used one on the classifieds.
  14. This thread's title is almost like a tabloid headline: BOLD and SHOCKING but ultimately sketchy and superficial... As for the suggestions to get a turntable - all that distortion, noise and popping will surely have a negative impact on health....😎
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