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Archive through October 25, 2004

 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 463
Registered: Apr-04
AL,

you wrote: Ghia, I scrolled points for your comments on DSotM but didn't find. Any news on that? Oh, and BTW: when you listen to Hotel California in 2-ch, is the guitar intro on acoustic guitar at much lower volume that in m-ch mix? (Suspect problem in my cabling.)

I did some listening this morning and found that the guitar is noticeably quieter in the stereo track compared to the MC track. In fact, it was much weaker than what I remembered from last week so I did some additional testing. Note: this is the last day I'm doing this....I'm starting to feel like a freak.

Anyway, my notes about Hotel California:

- The title track sounds best in MC. The rest of the album works best in stereo for me. This is a different conclusion that I previously had about DVD-A downmix but I'm sure about the results now. At least until the next test. lol.

- The acoustic guitar track of the title song is noticeably weaker in stereo than MC. But! This is not as noticeable when the Mac is powering everything - which could be why I mentioned before that I hadn't noticed it since I had been listening to it through the Mac at that point. When the NAD was powering the system it was so clearly noticeable it was distracting.

DSTOM. Have to give the edge to surround, after all. It sounded so great through the Mac the other day that I was sure that was all anyone would ever need. But, listened in MC vs stereo again yesterday and concluded this is a recording that improves with MC.

So, the results from this week lead me to believe I will have to figure out a way to buy a MC Mac. So much for trying to simplfy.....
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Ghia - The answer is quite simple. McIntosh gear has held its value better than the stock market for the past four years. Save, save, save. Then buy Mac MC as a hedge against your retiement accounts being worthless when you retire. Push comes to shove in your old age you can sell the Macs for more than you paid for them. (This will be particularly true if the new owners mess with Mac the way they apparently are going to do to Marantz. The thought of McIntosh and Marantz being owned by the same company must have a few folks rolling in their graves. This is stranger than Chrysler and Mercedes.)

By then we'll all be deaf anyway.

(If you like this idea you might want to also get a piece of Stickley furniture and a 1950's Martin guitar. They appreciate more than McIntosh.)


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1677
Registered: Dec-03
ghia I'll bet all you need/want is a vintage 2 channel mac amp.

hook that to your nad reciever to power your fronts
and you'll have your mac 2 channel and surround to boot.

that way it should not cost you an arm and a leg.

you should be able to pick up a vintage mac 2 channel amp for
a reasonable sum and not have to wait to long to get what your after!

 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 464
Registered: Apr-04
Jan,

Thanks for that point. You know, I could sell off some holdings in my Ameritrade account and buy a big Mac system. Hadn't thought of that before. lol
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Yo - fellow Dawgs - the rest of the Gypsy Wind story will be on Discoveries within a few minutes. Twenty-two pages long - and won't y'all be glad when you don't have to read about THAT anymore! GRIN
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
D O N E ! ! !
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 924
Registered: Aug-04
In fact W E L L D O N E ! ! !

Our Larry's a regular ol' sea salt!

If you haven't read or finished Larry's epic sea saga I recommend you do.

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/music/38578.html

Could our Larry be the next great Floridean author? Will he rank among those greats: James Hall or John Katzenbach. Could Hall's hero Thorn have a new literary rival in Larry Wryter?

Guess we'll just have to wait and see :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 283
Registered: Mar-04
John A. said:

quote:

"Summertime" was one of those 60s ballads every man and his dog took a crack at, though it is still amusing that the Zombies had a go, too. They must be quite, well, old, by now...?



Hey John, quite old? Hate to tell you this my friend, but they're just a few years older than you and I, I'm guessing. Sorry for that reality slap but someone had to do it. :-)


 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
MR - (blush) thank you - UR 2 kind, sir!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1683
Registered: Dec-03
This is basically my speaker setup:

Upload
 

Classical 1
Unregistered guest
Well, Larry R, your story was amazing and frightening - and to think that I'm seriously considering a long ocean voyage! You've given me some things to think about seriously, and your writing style is just grand!
I'm moving forward toward ending my "career" at the moment, and meanwhile am happily relaxing and going through my CD collection. Having brought my supply of Vivid with me from Colorado, I'm whiling away Florida hours by happily buffing! (and no, not "in the buff!")
Are we now awaiting Jan V's testing of Vivid? If he's as thorough as he appears to be, it might well be an instructive response. I still want to know if Pledge will do the same thing, as Mr. Vigne suggests.
Kegger - it looks as though you're turning your home into one large "full-immersion" sound palace! Good thing that you don't have a family to work around. That might be awkward.
More later. . .
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 466
Registered: Apr-04
LR,

That is an amazing story! It's admirable that you and Merri were willing to take the risk you did to experience a dream. Even though the dream turned into a bit of a nightmare, aren't you glad you did it? Most people get comfortable with their lives but live day to day wondering "is this all there is?" and never even try to live their dreams. I don't know. Maybe the trauma you went through overshadows the experience. But, from my perspective, I admire you both for taking the chance even if it didn't turn out the way you had envisioned. Glad you both lived to tell the tale!

Take care!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2316
Registered: Dec-03
Sem,

Re. The Zombies. It was a joke. not a good one, I admit. Remember The Who's "My generation"?

Kegger,

Nice diagram!

Larry,

Will read your tale. You have a real fan club here!
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest



Kegger - Have you tried placing both subs on the same side wall, left or right, and angling them across the longest dimension of the room so they are firing at right angles to each other across the room instead of directly at one another? I also got much better results by getting my sub up off the floor. It now sits on top of a record cabinet about 3 1/2' off the floor. It got rid of the lump that muuuushhhhed bass notes with drum.


I hope no one read that Pledge will do exactly the same thing as Vivid. I have used Pledge and found that there is an improvement in sound. As Mr. Walker says, Vivid is not Pledge (well of course it isn't, Mr. Walker; we wouldn't expect you to sell Pledge at 10,000 times its normal price though Pledge plus one ingredient makes it not Pledge) and I would suspect and hope that Vivid will out perform Pledge in a test. We'll see when I get Larry's package. But I would also be interested in other's comments on Pledge before I get rolling along here. There is an antistatic Pledge that I have used and would be interested in other's response to its benefits, if any. I am going to guess that Vivid should have a more thorough cleaning agent and should even remove the Pledge for a second test of 1) nothing done, 2) Pledge and 3) Vivid. I am more interested in how much difference there is between Pledge and Vivid as the price difference for the amount purchased is significant. If Vivid can outperform Pledge by enough of a difference then the small cost of Vivid per disc is well worth the money. If the results are deemed within a small percentage of improvement then a can of Pledge at $3.48 is a bargain too hard to pass up.


 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Jan - yes, my friend, you are correct on all points. I simply "forgot" to buy Pledge when at the store, so I've not had a true test myself. Sigh. Gettin' ole. . .
I read on the Audioholics forum where some chaps are getting "into it" over Vivid on the CD/DVD thread. Apparently there are some real nasty UNbelievers there - but they haven't tried Vivid - just rant against it. Same-oh, same-oh.
I admit that Vivid costs a lot - a very lot - of money. Double sigh. When you get your "care package" (should arrive today) please let us all know soonest what your personal tests reveal.
Classical 1 - thanks for your comments - but I highly recommend that you, too, "follow your dream" and go on that sailing trip! E-mail me some details - I'm always fascinated.
If you do, indeed, retire - well, just keep active! If you don't, you'll soon wish that you had your "day job" back again. It takes about 6 months for the boredom to set in! G R I N
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 95
Registered: Jun-04
Jan,

Can you please clarify/confirm which particular Pledge product you're using:

http://www.pledge.com

I'm game to this "experiment" and will try it out. I have a few "guinea pig" CD's that I can test.

Thanks in advance,

Don

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2318
Registered: Dec-03
Don,

Look for the THX™ certification.
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
John A. - paging back several postings, I read that you suggest my name "Roderick" is Welsh? Well, I was always told, as I was growing up, that it was German! Hmm. . . Conspiracy here, I fear!
My father's side of the family was, indeed, German and English. The English side's surname was Hartley. The Roderick came from - heck, who knows where? Was there some strange bloke in the woodshed? Stay stewed for the n*udes - er - that is, stay tuned for the news.
Hope that your chillins read the "Gypsy" story, and learn much from it. About such things as "better check out everything you can before you do anything drastic!" GRIN
Jan V. - hoping that you got my package today, and that it is to your liking. Sorry about the small amount of Vivid, but at $45 a pop, I don't spread around this stuff on a regular basis!
Ojo - again, please let me know what you find with the use of Pledge - and hope that you don't damage your precious CDs in the process. I "think" that Pledge will be non-toxic to the discs, but am not sure. I do know that using some auto waxes makes the discs cloud up after a few days' time. Guess it must be the "wax" in the product that is a "baddie?"
Now that the Red Sox have won their battle - wouldn't it be wunnerful if Houston won tonight? Then we'd have a sorta sports version of the national political race on our hands, eh? I mean, Massachusetts against Texas? Read it Boston-Kerry against Houston-Bush? How great a contest can that be????? Merri opines that surely the winner will mirror the election results in November? (I may have to shoot her, after all!)
Awaiting Jan's Vivid test, I remain, humbly, your faithful mope - LR
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

The correct Pledge:

http://www.pledge.com/family_cleandust.html

Read the rest of the site and you will see that Pledge is essentially a silicone-oil. Similar to WD40 that was used in the early 90's to treat CD's but ran afoul of migration between the disc layers because, unlike Pledge, it will remain viscous for long periods once applied to a surface.
The package from Larry arrived today and was applied to one disc so far. A disc I have been using to audition the Toshiba 4960 so I have heard it many times these past few days. First impression, used on a disc that had been Pledged, would be this is better. More later.



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

The correct Pledge:

http://www.pledge.com/family_cleandust.html

Read the rest of the site and you will see that Pledge is essentially a silicone-oil. Similar to WD40 that was used in the early 90's to treat CD's but ran afoul of migration between the disc layers because, unlike Pledge, it will remain viscous for long periods once applied to a surface.
The package from Larry arrived today and was applied to one disc so far. A disc I have been using to audition the Toshiba 4960 so I have heard it many times these past few days. First impression, used on a disc that had been Pledged, would be this is better. More later.



 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 190
Registered: Jun-04
Hi doggies,

After a month of dark thoughts about ISP providers and baseball bats, I finally decided to take action. So I wrote'em a letter with some sharply formulated questions. With carbon copy to the press. Having drawn their intention to my e-mail account, I proceeded with a spicy letter to regulatory institution. Then I topped off with a copy of everything, including where to e-mail such stuff, into the ISP's own user forum. 15 minutes later my DSL connection worked like never before. Now, ain't that some coincidence?

Ghia, thank you very, very much for your info on HC and DSoTM. (Looking forward to next weeks review, though ;-)

Mr K.: you have so many speakers, doesn't match with the pic' that Sony stick into their SACD album boxes. There's a recycling plant here in Madrid. Send a couple of speakers to me (the biggies), I'll take care of the disposal ;-).

John, I think Dolby Laboratories still hesitant about orange-flavoured popcorn ;-)

Bye bye for now. When WWW euphoria diminishes I'll try to write a serious post.
AL
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Yo, Larry, that's one mean group over on audioholics. They should all join C.C.C.; Cynics Can't Cry. I'll stay here.



 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Jan V. - well, well, my friend - glad the "Care" pkg got there OK. I'm eager (as are we all) to hear the results of your testing.
And yes, the audioholics bunch is pretty raw! I go there sometimes to see what's being talked about, and can't really say that much of their information is of value to me. Bunch of bitchers is what they seem - very immature!
So - Pledge is silicone of some sort - thought it might be. I'm still wary of putting it on any of my CDs - though after you and Ojophile do more testing, I might run it through a couple of cycles and see what happens.
Meanwhile - waiting, waiting. . . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1685
Registered: Dec-03
john: "Look for the THX certification." that's classic lol!

____________________________________

jan:

"Kegger - Have you tried placing both subs on the same side wall, left or right, and angling them across the longest dimension of the room so they are firing at right angles to each other across the room instead of directly at one another? I also got much better results by getting my sub up off the floor. It now sits on top of a record cabinet about 3 1/2' off the floor. It got rid of the lump that muuuushhhhed bass notes with drum."

I have tried several sub placemeants and will try more plus
will take to heart your recomendations.

The sub placemeant in the diagram doesn't do justice of how
the subs are arranged now.

the one up front is firing from 1 side wall to the other
the one in the back is actually moved closer to the couch and firing into it
towards the front of the room.

(not shown in diagram)
sometimes I even have the one on just in front of
the widescreen "dual 12s"
when you need a little extra umph for movies.

I don't know about anyone else but I much prefer front firing
open driver subs over down firing and or port based.
the forward firing sub with exposed driver can have a port but
not the port being the only source of sound meaning
the driver is inside and not exposed.

my feeling on that, is the exposed woofer forward firing driver sounds
more natural more like an instruemeant then just bass.

now granted the down firing sub may give more girth for movies
but does not sound natural to me.

so the way I compensate the girth is use more subs!

all my subs are homemade one is a dual 12 cabinet for a truck
powered by a sub amp.

the other two are old ev 3way cabinets with the tweeter hole plugged
and mid hole tutned into a port tuned to 30hz and
then the cabinets are turned upside down so the woofer is on top. 12" jbl
Then fairly hard rubber feet about 1" tall are added to what
use to be the top for solid floor coupling.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1686
Registered: Dec-03
oh yah the other 2 subs are powered by a large crown amp!

 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 927
Registered: Aug-04
Kegger,

How much does it cost you for the coal to keep the power station running in your back yard?

:-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1687
Registered: Dec-03
.................W O W...................



Mundorf cap Supreme Silver in Oil!
http://www.mundorf.com/english/bauteile/frkondensator.htm

I'M DONE!

OH MY GOSH THESE ARE INCREDABLE!
AMAZING!

Just installed a pair of .22uf's in the output of my se-40 amp
"with crappy tubes" and I'M DONE! NO MORE, WOW!

you name it these things got it.
____________________
crisp clean high's with all the air you could ask for.
liquid midrange.
tight bass.
and you hear every little detail and seperation!

I have tried a sh!tload of caps lately and nothing for my
setup comes even close!

not to cheap though, glad I only need 2 in each amp.
$28 each! considering what they do, money well spent.

Now where's that darn prepro so I can hook all this sh!t up!

 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1688
Registered: Dec-03
RANTZ! WHO CARES! LOL!!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 929
Registered: Aug-04
Uh Oh - better order more coal first!
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 930
Registered: Aug-04
Kegger - Go for it my friend - sounds like you've found audio nirvana!

Holy Cow! What's it gonna sound like after using VIVID?????????

:-)
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1689
Registered: Dec-03
lol rantz!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1690
Registered: Dec-03
GHIA CHECK THIS OUT!

MCINTOSH 250 POWER AMPLIFIER
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem%26item%3D5727263976
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Kegger - The reason I suggested the different sub placement was to get the sub working across the longest dimension of the room. It is seldom that I didn't think I got better low end performance when I gave the soundwave those few extra feet to propogate into the room. It will take down some of the room nodes and smooth out the lowest octave. By placing the subs on the same wall, and working across the room, you have them working at roughly 90 degree angles to one another instead of pushing a wave right at the other sub. And I did find much better sound with the sub raised off the floor. It moved closer to the corner but smoothed out response to get a more powerful sound with less confusion when the bottom gets busy. I also have my sub on spikes and find that usually tightens up the bottom vs. rubber feet.
I agree with your preference for front firing subs. Have you ever heard an Isobarik sub system where the driven unit is in the cabinet and its pressure drives a unit that is exposed at the front of the cabinet. Similar to a passive radiator except you have no audible output from the internal driver itself. The air is being driven by the front mounted driver that, because it is driven by pressure instead of voltage, makes a more linear excursion and really cuts the distortion component to almost nonexistent. It is not the most efficient way to make bass but is a different sound than you will find in a front mounted electrically driven sub.


"Holy Cow! What's it gonna sound like after using VIVID????????? "

From what I have heard tonight I would say much better.

I've tried a dozen discs and got the same results on each disc. I played each disc to select one or two cuts that would be the test selections. The music ranged from classical to folk/bluegrass and jazz. Some rock but no hard rock since I seldom listen to anything more radical than The Doors and The Grateful Dead anymore. (Did you know most of those people, if they're still alive, are in their 60's now?! How did that happen?) So those of you that bang your head may not find what I think is a reasonable case for Pledge and Vivid.

Each disc was played several times to get a sense of the "as is" sound. Then it was treated with Pledge as I have been doing. The same disc was treated with Vivid after I'd listened a few times to the Pledge treated disc. I also treated a few discs with just Vivid to make certain I was getting the same results with no Pledge in the middle. The discs that were treated with Pledge became noticeably cleaner when the Vivid was after the Pledge treatment. Each disc was played on the new Toshiba 4960 and the mid priced Philips that I have used for about four years now. Both players are fairly warm and musical, I've never had a complaint of hardness from the system. The amp was the Mac 6200 and the speakers were the Rogers LS3/5a's.

Going from the normal disc to the Pledge treatment was a good size step toward better sound from each disc. Instruments that seemed two dimensional took on a more real sound and feel. Notes that had just laid there on the unteated disc had a more positive integration into the whole and moved the music forward with more sense of pacing. Multiple voices or instruments were more separated into individual components that had a personality of their own instead of just a group of sounds. Bass was more apparent with a fullness that put a bottom on the music even with the 3/5a's. Vocalists had more of a body and the sound of a body; they were not indistinct voices but they came from a person standing in front of the microphone. A chestier sound might be a good way to describe the sound. All instruments and voices had more realism in their sounds. Upright basses and violins were more wooden and drums had more skin. The acoustic around each instrument and the whole was easier to hear. Most importantly the way a note began, especially bowed or plucked sounds, was more defined than the normal disc sound. Inflections were more emphatic. The whole of the music was more emphatic. And the decay of sounds was more believable. Soundstaging and imaging were benefitted some but the overall effect was less on the HiFi aspect and more on the music itself. The performers sounded like they liked each other and liked playing with one another. Atmospheric sounds had a more otherwordly effect that came from further outside the room and could grow much larger when needed. The sound of the space on an anaolg tape had more information in those few seconds before the music began.

When I then treated the same disc with Vivid the improvements were there in spades. Violins and basses had real wooden bodies that resonated with the playing of the music. Attacks and decays were more easily followed. Voices had a person firmly atached but never grew too large, they got smaller and more focused to a point source in space. It would be as if the performer stepped closer to the microphone without increasing the volume. The Vivid made everything more believable and more musical. Sounds had a shine to them without being bright. It gives a "patina" to the recording that is inviting.

The Pledge cost $3.49 and made an audible improvement in the sound. The Vivid cost me nothing thanks to Larry but otherwise is $45 for the small kit. The Vivid claims it will treat about 200 discs which gets its cost down to about $0.25 per disc. The can of Pledge will probably treat well over 1000 discs bringing the cost per disc to less than the cost of electricity to play it. I would give an estimate of Pledge getting you about 80% there and Vivid being the full hand.

From what I heard I would say those who don't think this can work don't bother with either course of action. Just sit where you are and listen to what you already have. Those curious enough to invest in can of Pledge can find out what they percieve after a quick, painless treatment. If you think what you hear is sufficient gain to explore further you can invest in Vivid and get even more benefits. I found no instance where I thought applying the Pledge first hindered the sound once I applied the Vivid.

Pledge and Vivid - their good things!




 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1691
Registered: Dec-03
allright gotta get me some pledge!

anyone better than the rest jan?



well time for me to snore the roof off this place.

later!

more tomorrow peoples.

goodnight johnboy!
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Whew! JV, I've been holding my breath now for about three days. (exhale, inhale)
Thanks for your even-handed review of not only Vivid, but Pledge as well. From what I read either product will make audible differences.
Now - Jan - you've gotta try Vivid on DVD video discs. REally. If you heard that much difference on CDs, all I can say is that you will be even more impressed when playing movies! But, as I say, don't take my word for it. . .

OK - HEY, GANG - ALL OF YOU - H E L P!
I'm in the midst of serious warfare on several forums at once - here's the gig.
I'm claiming - along with a couple of other people - what Jan claims about Vivid - and meeting stiff resistance from people who haven't and say they will never try it.
They say the laser can't be "enhanced" - that it will either read or not read the disc. I disagree. I think a light-beam that has been altered in some way (such as having blurred reflection?) will lead to major error-correction in the player, and probably degrade the sound quality.
They say that Vivid is "snake oil," and that cleaning the mold release compound off discs will have no effect. Two other posters and I all claim that cleaning a disc is like cleaning a window - the light will come through better.
They say that the laser light (red) is transformed to GREEN light in the polycarbonate layer on the discs, and thus any "tweak" such as green markings on the disc edges are worthless. I don't understand how the red laser light can be transformed half-way down the spectrum by just going through basically clear plastic??? Neither side seems to post any back-up "proof."
I have been called "stupid," a "tool of the illigitimate snake oil industry," "ignorant," and a "person whose reasoning abilities are obviously lacking."
Guess that sort of stuff is what John A. has referred to as "flaming?" Well, I'm carrying around an extra fire extinguisher these days!
Most of the time I go on these forums as an "uninvited guest," so I can skip around and maintain low visibility. I'd hate to see what might happen if these guys got my e-mail address!!
Comments on all of the above from all of you are most welcome - yes, even if you agree with some of the harsh critics!
Aside from that - have a great day/night, depending on where you are.
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
All of ye - here's an interesting link regarding the laser light change in polycarb. It has a whole bunch of replies to page through.

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tweaks/messages/27787.html
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Jan V et al - well, now ain't this interesting! Had to go to a competing product to find more information about "how it works." Believe it or challenge it - I'm still learning!

http://www.audience-av.com/accessor.htm
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
John A especially - et al. And then there's this rather fascinating column. Pair this up with the info on laser-read and Vivid's apparent use to help lasers better read start-stop pits and planes on CDs. (see audience-av above)
So - I'm beginning to understand a bit of what's going on with Vivid - and apparently to a lesser extent with Pledge. Working, working!

http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/jitter.htm
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Here is the link for the Pledge I have been using:

http://www.pledge.com/family_cleandust.html

It has no alcohol (that I can detect), no abrasives, no wax, and no solvents (such as lemon oil). It has an anti static benefit so when you are done cleaning the disc pieces of grunge don't jump onto it before it's placed in the player.
The method I found worked best was to use either an athletic sock turned inside out so the terry material is exposed or a foam cosmetic applicator that you can find at any drugstore. I have a piece of rubber that came with Finyl (the first CD enhancer I am aware of, it was sold back in the early 90's) that goes inside the jewel box and supports the disc just slighty above the locking hub in the center. You can place the disc on a Viva paper towel or get the cork that was suggested earlier. With the disc play side up spray a small amount of Pledge over the entire disc and wipe the disc with the foam sponge or sock with a fair amount of force, about what you would use to polish your car. With the Pledge it will not haze as it dries so when you think you've cleaned the disc well take another sock and buff with the same amount of force until you see a nice shine come to the disc surface. There seems to be a bit of an improvement to repeat this step to get all the grunge you can off the disc. It should look visibly more shiny when you are done. Replace and wash the sponge or sock often to avoid contaminating other discs.

Larry - I tried the Vivid on a few DVDs but didn't think there was as much improvement over the Pledge on the discs I used to justify the diference in cost. I'll try a few more before I make a final decision.
The other forum is a group of mean, nasty, razor totin'turds. I'll think you can give them all the evidence you want and they simply will not even try something very simple or cost effective. If that is the case I would say you can lead a horse to water, but .... Personally I would not waste much time on that group of folks who prefer to call someone names instead of thinking or trying something.

The box of Finyl that I pulled out had a white paper on the way the optics are improved and I'll send you a copy if you want but I doubt that will do anything for your case with them. Finyl was billed as an Optical Impedance Matching system. That has always been the problem with the argument for these treatments; the naysayers want to argue digits when the solution you are presenting concerns optics not digits. I don't think you're going to get any where if they won't even try Pledge.


http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tweaks/messages/27625.html



 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
JV - so, were your vivid (?) descriptions of things you heard on "tweaked" discs just hype? Or did you really hear major differences? In other words - was y'all a-pullin' our laigs?
We had a more positive experience with DVDs than you did, apparently - but so much depends on the quality of the equipment used! Perhaps my "mid-level" stuff shows more improvement than does "better" gear?
Yes, please send e-mail or whatever your paper on Finyl - always trying to learn new things.
I find Jon Risch to be informed, patient, and willing to actually listen! I've e-mailed him, and the man does seem to try very hard to take a neutral stance unless he has pretty good proof that whatever he's talking about actually works.
So - here we are - and you're telling me that I really need to try Pledge. OK, my friend, I surely will! I've got several CD-R copies of music that I'll use as "guinea pigs" at first, then go to the "real" CDs. UR right - if, in the end, Mr. Walker's product is just over-priced wax or whatever - then I'll laugh it off and consider my expenses and experiments to be learning curves, and little else.
I'm very much "into" research on jitter now, and the more I read the less I think I understand, but am gaining ground!
I'm sorta embarrassed to say that I did follow several people in their "steady" quest - and put a sealed baggie of sand on top-rear of my CD player. Now if I tell you that the sound smoothed our or something, you'll just laugh - so I'm keeping THAT tweak to myself. Will see if Mer can tell any difference! But NO brass cones! GRIN
OH, just one more thing, Jan - thanks for being a worthy adversary when it calls for such, but for listening and reasoning when there is a real debate. I 'preciate that, sir. I think I've learned more about stereo and sound since I first accessed this forum than I ever learned the rest of my life! Thanx to you - and to all who read this - I count on all of you more than you can imagine!
REspectfully,
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Whoa, dare, cowpersons! Just got an e-mail from the Pledge consumer affairs dept - saying that they do NOT support use of Pledge on CDs or any similar plastic. They say that it is insufficiently tested - but were not specific.
So - there you go! Use it at your discretion, and hope that the company is just being super-cautious to avoid any possible legal problems??
Frankly, from what I read about the product, I tend to disagree - and side with JV on use as a CD polish. As it doesn't leave a (visible) residue it must be OK? Hmmm. . .heck, if his CDs all turn deep pink in a year or so - well. . .
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

The problem with using a product such as Pledge on CD's is it IS NOT a recommended application for the material. That has never stopped an inveterate HiFi tweaker. When Sam Tellig offered his opinion that WD40 was excellent to treat CD's many rushed to give it a try. It was a matter of anything is worth the effort at that point. CD's had taken over the market and people had rid themselves of their horrid LP collections or couldn't find new vinyl so any hope was grabbed at like a drowning victim goes for a rope. It took about a year for the effects of WD40 to show up and by then it was too late. The silicone product started to migrate between the layers of certain discs and ruined quite a few. The fault appears to be with the manufacture of the discs not the application of the material. Will this also happen with Pledge? I don't know. Anyone who wishes to use Pledge as a CD treatment will have to take that risk on your own. I can only tell you what I heard. The risk of spending $3.49 instead of $45 is the risk you take of not using a product specifically designed for this application.
What I posted as my response to the Pledge and Vivid treatments are exactly what I heard. No more, no less. I would not recommend anyone switch from Vivid to Pledge because Vivid is clearly the superior product. There was not a single disc that I treated with both materials that did not gain in quality after the application of the Vivid. I did not go the other way around and apply Pledge after Vivid. There seemed to be no point; if you have spent the money for Vivid why would you not use it? Pledge is, to me, an acceptable starting point for someone who wants to experiment with treatments and doesn't care to throw $45 at the effort until they are at least convinced an improvement can be achieved. If you hear an improvement with Pledge I would then spend the money for Vivid if only to treat my "best" discs. The improvement that was accomplished by Vivid was enough to convince me it is worth the moey when you figure its cost per disc. It was the difference between the Mac MA6200 solid state and my Mac MC240 tubes. There was a substantial, audible improvement though the former is not that far away from the latter. Bang for the buck is the Pledge and the 6200. The next step that makes a difference is the Vivid and the tubes.

As to the video, I'll try it again. I am not much of a video person. It serves a purpose and that is different from how I use my audio system. Most of my discs that I own are not big splashy blockbusters and most are in black and white ("The Ruling Class", anyone?) and many in mono. It seems a waste to use it on a rented DVD that somone will eventually use as a tire chuck (how else can those scratches be that deep). My video is OK but not the best, I've got a friend that I sold a Pionerr Elite Plasma to so maybe I'll use his system for testing Vivid on video. Actually I always found selling video to be somewhat boring. I could never get over the idea that someone who didn't listen to any live music could tell me that explosions didn't sound right but couldn't see that the announcer's shirt was displayed as an unappealing blue or yellow.



 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Jan V - Merri says to tell you she's very impressed with your initial "Vivid test" posting. She labeled you articulate and intelligent - so gloat awhile, OK? G R I N
I hope that you didn't think I was challenging your initial reactions - I wasn't - just poking a liddle fun yer way. Your review pretty much parallels my own experience - though it actually goes farther in description. I think you must have heard even more differences than I did. Which is good!
I'm about half-way through my CD collection now, and I think I'll come out with a tad of Vivid left over. Will I buy more? Well - I don't buy very many CDs at the moment, so will probably wait to see if I purchase many new ones.
Many of the SACD discs are already coated with a "Mystery film," and labelled: "do not use any wet solution on this disc." Guess their precious film would come off. Obviously, I don't put Vivid on those!
Anyway, I'm glad I could help you resolve your dilemma over whether Vivid is any good. I'm still surprised that the Walker company doesn't give more of an explanation of Vivid's effects and how it works.
Anybody every heard from "Anonimuss" after his brush-up with Rick? Must have gone to greener pastures somewhere. And what about Rick? No word from him for a long time,either. Still waiting to hear from him the facts regarding C4 and C5.
Away to more reading so that I can finally understand "jitter." Sigh.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2322
Registered: Dec-03
Rick said "outa here" after my silly duelling skit on error correction and upsampling. I do worry it caused offence somehow. Words often convey unintended meanings. I understand W. Australia is trying to legislate against words that will offend. They think "Pom" for Brit and "Dink" for Italian are OK, other things aren't. It is like e-mail spam, and the ecoustics "not allowed" filter; the offence is not in the words. I do not understand how people think it is. The producer of the Glyndebourne "Porgy" changed one word from the original libretto, to "dummy"; amazing in that context. I see from movies the original word is now OK, but only certain sorts of people can use it. Perhaps it is a sort of word therapy. Larry, you seem like a word expert.

Anyway, Sorry, Rick. No offence intended, honestly. None whatsoever. Really. It was a stupid attempt at humour. Please return.

News flash. 50 minutes exactly into the current BBC "CD review" (23 Oct) there is a 40-minute feature on Mercury Living Presence recordings.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/

Select "Radio 3" and then "CD Review".

I think it bears out everything Jan has been saying. Even the Real Audio stream gives an idea of what Mercury could do around 1960.

Has changing technology actually produced any improvement in sound quality in the intervening 40-50 years?

Presenter thinks "yes" and ends with "While we can admire the works of the past, we don't have to live there, do we?"

I think I will try to get the 1957 Eastman Rochester Orchestra 5-CD set of music by American composers. Surely there was commercial link, with the three microphone feeds being captured first on cinema/movie film?
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
John A. - good morning, sir! (yawn) First off, no, I am no word "expert," but as a "recovering journalist" I had to use the darned things every day - and actually got to like some of them! GRIN
I have always been a horrible math person, and a good speller - Merri is a wonderful math person, and can't spell worth a ding! Guess that's the "split" too often found in society.
Yes, John, the use of words in written communication is tricky. That's one of the reasons I often use the probably-trite "grin" in postings when I make often-vain attempts at humor. Merri says I have a dry and very suble wit that many people either miss or misinterpret. Sigh. I know she's right, and thus the postings full of "grin" signs. Oh, I suppose I could get fancy and insert some smiley-faces - but then most of you would surely throw up then throw me off the forum! Talk about obnoxious elements of society!
In thinking of Rick's "departure," may I just opine, John, that you - as an extremely intelligent person - often like to argue things down to the absurd level - which, as an academic, seems a "normal" thing for you to do. But for many of us such arguments only seem boorish and demeaning. I am trying here to express an opinion without offending, which I do not intend.
In a way you are much like my Aunt E - who was a professor of linguistics, and who would drive everybody crazy with her protracted arguments involving arcane bits of information. As she saw it, she was simply "getting to the heart of the matter." To the rest of us, she was just a boor.
And no, John, I'm not transferring that appellation to you - just perhaps hinting that you, like my friend Jan V, get rolling with argument, and forget the brake pedal.
A long time ago in a city far, far away, I was a young and sometimes brash reporter - full of himself and rather disdainful of "lesser" folk whom I thought were beneath my attention level. I guess you could sum it up with: "an ego problem."
Well, after interviewing scientists, musicians, physicians, etc., I began to realize how low on the totem pole of intellect I really was. It was a good mind-slap - and for years, when I was called on to counsel J-students, or give seminars, I tried very hard to put the role of the journalist in perspective. Of course, it seldom worked - and today all you have to do is turn on the TV and watch ego in action! Sigh.
Well, I've violated one of my own rules, and have gone stark raving mad with words! (grin)
All because I thought about Rick's departure, and what might have triggered it. Sensitive, yes, some of us more than others - as you have so rightly observed. (putting me at the head of the list)
On to other things - the Mercury series was a noble effort that actually succeeded. I well remember buying and playing - repeatedly - those marvelous LPs. At that time, the sound was revelatory and mesmerizing - at least to me, as a young man in love with music.
Every time I see a picture of a "modern" recording session - with 2,543 mics (at least so it seems) I wonder if they couldn't do the whole thing with a Living Presence-style setup.
I remember the first time I did a report on a fashion photographer. Went to his studio and watched him in action. As the hapless model went through her "stock" poses, he and his assistants were on the sidelines - not carefully composing frames, but clicking off shot-after-shot-after-shot-after-shot with motorized Nikon cameras. The photographer would go through one roll, and an assistant would give him another camera. On and on it went.
I asked him how many shots he typically took in one model-session - and he said:"Oh, I try to keep it under a thousand." Huh?
"Well," he explained, "out of a thousand frames I'm sure to get a couple of great ones!"
Yes, and if you put a paintbrush in a monkey's fist and let him go at canvases, you might get one great one in a thousand tries!
Working my way through college, I once was employed by a studio photographer in Washington, D.C. - Harris and Ewing. They did official Congressional photos, and the like.
Did they go through thousands of shots to immortalize Congressman Zooch - no, indeed! They set up 4x5 or 8x10-inch cameras with the good, old-fashioned "plates" instead of film rolls.
All was set up - lighting, background, grooming, etc. - and THEN the chief photographer would assume his position, and fire off TWO SHOTS. That was it. Two. And we knew that one of those two - and usually both - were fine.
Mercury Living Presence - few mics. Modern recording sessions - hundreds. Do I see a parallel here?
Am I ranting and raving? Hmm. . .
OK - outta yer hair, and outta my time! (grin)
More anon. . .
 

Bronze Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 99
Registered: Jun-04
John A.,

Thanks for the BBC Radio link.

Regards,

Don

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2323
Registered: Dec-03
Don.

As I write, that programme is still going out live; the Oct 23 issue will be the next issue to be archived, I think sometime later today. Right now you will get last weeks' edition.

Larry,

Thanks for that. All correct, I think. But take it easy with words like "academic" please. I have problems with those guys. " just perhaps hinting that you, like my friend Jan V, get rolling with argument, and forget the brake pedal." Yes, I am sure.

With the duelling story I was trying to make a point about getting stuff back that wasn't there, in the recording, in the first place. Since we are now into Latin I think I can write reductio ad absurdum.

Like Kegger, I own up to not having the faintest idea what people are on about here, sometimes.

More later.

Best wishes, everyone.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ojophile

Toronto, ON

Post Number: 102
Registered: Jun-04
"I own up to not having the faintest idea what people are on about here, sometimes."

Same here, John. That's why sometimes I'm reluctant (more like afraid) to chime in for fear of being...


Have a good weekend, folks.

Don

 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Yo - Don - hey, my friend - never be afraid of chiming in - look at the way I do it - feet first, let the facts be, uh, "dammed." eh? (GRIN)
Heck, if you want to find a forum where you'll be kicked around, yelled at, and made miserable, go on "Audioholics." Those guyz are crude and rude to "the max!"
If you think that I truly understand what John A and Jan V and Ghia and Kegger and Rantz et al are talking about most of the time - think again!
I came back here for two reasons: 1-it is a place where I can find people with esoteric thinking (to my liking) and 2-this is one forum where ideas are exchanged without over-abundance of BS and posturing. Plus (blush) it is sorta like a family - which is good.
John A - sorry - "academic" shall never again be used in connection with postings to you, sir! Yes, indeed, "those guys" can often be insufferable! (grin)
More anon. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2324
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

No harm done. One can sometimes find good guys in the most surprising walks in life.

Don,

I agree with Larry. Have your say. Also, no-one can be expected to read all previous posts, I think this thread is approaching 1,600.

The basic issue here is described on May 1st, when this thread grew out of another, where J. Vigne had written:

"As an aside, am I the only one who thinks music almost always sounds better when you listen just in stereo. How old I feel."

Some good points are made recently by "Walt_H" on Cd player or dvd player that plays cd's as well?".

For me, unlike Asimo, we have not at all lost sight of the topic, here. We have just got to see each other's points of view better, I think. That can't be so bad.

I think My Rantz more or less summed up the position with his wonderful post (Oct 19) on the brown spotted ornich.

Superb, MR!

I also think we are beginning to get somewhere on the subjects of Vivid, Pledge, WD-40, and, perhaps, TurtleWax; all pending further investigation.

What more could one ask?
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Uh, John A - one could ask: "how the heck do these "enhancers" actually work?" Well - that's what I'm desperately trying to find out.
Manufacturers are vague - why are they not doing tests? Or - have they done them, only to find out that either the results are not to their satisfaction or that they cannot quantify and qualify so that the buyer understands? Hmm. . .
I'm still on the side of those who believe that there IS something to be said for a sharper and more focused laser-read - and that it DOES cause jitter problems - but in the analog, not digital, portion of the player. Sigh. I really wish I were more able to understand such things as algorhythms or such - and all the strings of numbers that are used to "explain" the wonders of CD audio!
Oh, yes - please do not use WD-40 on your CDS - it's pretty well shown that it has long-term effects - and gives scant improvement in sound.
I've ordered up one of the so-called "bibles" of CD sound - from my local library. It's called "Principles of Digital Audio" by Ken Pohlmann. Supposed to be very good - BUT - I'm afraid I'll run into the same-oh problem - that I won't be able to decipher much of what is said. What I need is a good "CD Sound for Dummies" book! GRIN
BTW - I think we all owe Jan V a round of applause for his testing on Vivid. I know that he was at first a skeptic - as well he should have been. He posted that he's not very much "into" video - so he had not much interest in getting DVDs tested.
Merri and I, on the other hand, do have a smallish library of "favorite" DVDs, including many opera discs. Merri was absolutely delighted with the look/sound of these after using Vivid. And on most of them we were not satisfied with one "buffing," so used two.
Jan has pointed out, as have others, that the DACs used in current DVD/CD players are light-years ahead of what was produced even a few years ago. So now the idea of a "CD-only" player has, I should think, little merit.
I want very much for jan V to keep us up to date on what's happening with his Toshiba 4960 - which has, on other forums, been highly praised, and for both its video and audio performance. That says a lot about "good" quality sound now showing up on "mid-range" players - and Jan's even qualifies as a "low-range" player, where price is concerned. After all, he's attempting to get $1,000 sound out of a $110 machine. We'll see how close he comes!
On surround - yes, I think the future lies in surround, as it is tied directly to all of the DVD-videos that are now flooding the market. As multi-format players take over, surround will simply "be here." Except, of course, for those of us who have 3,564,067,000 CDs lying around! GRIN
Oh, yes - one more note - you don't HAVE TO listen to SACDs in surround - there's a 2-channel output from them, if you select that.
Well, I must get back to my buffing - I've got about 90 CDs to go - and my buffing arm is getting sore! (grin)
More anon. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1692
Registered: Dec-03
larry i've got the pioneer 563a universal player "$120"
plus the denon. and i've been very impressed with the pioneer.
for so little money anyone wanting to jump into the world of hi rez
can without spending a bundle.
the video and audio is excelent.

and my suspect why some may hear or see less or more results may depend on the player it'self.
"with vivid"

If the things that vivid helps on are allready lessened in a certain player
then vivid may not have as much of a job to do.

meaning that if something like jitter is helped
but a player allready has excelent jitter specs
then vivid may not make as much of an improvement
on one machine versus another.

also many displays are not as tempermental on signal
as others.
meaning let's say jan has a 32" tv "tube" and watches black and white
video versus someone like myself with a 56" widescreen that watches
the big blockbuster films.
my screen is easier to notice defects in the presentation of video
versus what jan may have. so vivid may make more of an improvement for me.

just using jan as an example i have no idea what his screen is.
just gives you the perspective of what i was trying to get accross.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Larry - Check the copyright on Polhman's book. I read it many years ago. I don't know when the last edition would have been updated.
Good luck understanding "jitter", it is an elusive concept. In the early 90's many manufacturers made large sums of money building outboard clocks that were meant to reduce the jitter in the CD signal and reclock it to a master fequency. The ideal system was CD transport, jitter reduction unit, reclocking unit, outboard DAC and then on to the outboard tube analog section. Each piece had a specific cable and needed footers and spikes as well "stones" for vibration control. This naturally had to be plugged into an AC conditioner with separate outlets for analog and digital devices. The cynics had a field day.

If you really can't sleep and want to read about jitter here's a link to articles that appeared in "Stereophile":

http://www.stereophile.com/searchresults/index.html?terms=jitter&stype=A&x=8&y=8

That should keep you busy for awhile.

But, Larry, if all this research is to make your point about how disc treatments work, aren't you forgetting the brake pedal?

By the latter part of the 90's jitter had become an obsolete term in the way CD performance was treated. Not that it stopped existing but merely that, like so many other things in regard to digital, the price of stopping jitter or correcting jitter came down and the concept that a problem had been solved was as evident as 000001110000111110000001.

I guess my writing is not as clear as I hoped. I never meant to express skepticism at the idea that a treatment could improve CD sound. I have seen these treatments for years, ever since Finyl came out, and sold several of them. I would say that Vivid is one of the most effective I have tried. I retreated a disc that had been treated with Finyl and there was a small inprovement to be had over that teatment's benefits. I have never doubted the concept just how much one should pay for the results. That is an argument that, I doubt, will be resolved.

If your buffing arm is getting sore, Larry, try some Pledge on it. Try this one, it has extra moisturizers:

http://www.pledge.com/family_moisturizing.html


As far as the 4960 is concerned, so far I'm mostly impressed with the sound from the $107 player. There are some reservations but they are mostly operational and have to do with conflicting statements in the owner's manual. I emailed Toshiba and did get a response to my list of nine questions. The response was:

"Thanks for writing!

We appreciate your interest in Toshiba.

To obtain technical assistance, please call 1-800-631-3811.

Please write back if I can assist you further."














Uh, assist me further?

















Further than what?








My guess is a computer spit that out when it converted 0's and 1's to analog. I will call Toshiba on Monday to try to get an answer. I am not holding my breath in anticipation.


I would suggest anyone on this forum that is interested in classical music should purchase at least one of the Mercury Living Presence CD's or a RCA Red Seal Living Stereo CD. Both are reissuing disc in stereo and in SACD. The SACD contains no surround information on a separate track. The choice is two channel or the original three channel (L-C-R) information. These recordings were made in the late 50's to late 60's and were done with three microphones - only! Listen to these discs and form your own opinion about how far the art of recording has come in the past 50 years. 32 track mixers, compressors, expanders, equalizers, 2543 microphones, etc., and the desire to "splotlight" a performer have taken the music away in my opinion.



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Kegger - the flaw in your logic of sreen size is that the smaller the screen the better the pixel resolution, assuming an equal number of pixels for each screen. As the screen size goes up, the flaws will be larger but there is less detail in the picture. (A bit like LS3/5a's vs. Klipschorns.) Therefore, flaws are lost in the "largeness" of the 56" screen. One of the most aggravating concepts I heard over and over when I was selling video is the "you can have detail or you can have size; I prefer size". That was just not right when I was trying to get detail in my audio system that I should willingly throw it away in my video system. I have a 10 year old 27" Sony with the XBR tube in it and a 3 year old 46" Mitsubishi Platinum. The Sony eats up the Mits for detail. Thankfully most of what I watch on the 46" is in HiDef.

And as an aside, the way I suggested people start choosing a TV was to watch something in B&W. Take all the color out of a picture and see what is left. If the set can do B&W well, it has a good chance to do colors well. If it can't do B$W, it can't do anything else well.
One of the first set up procedures to achieve "standard" picture quality is to adjust the set to correct black and white levels. Or at least as close as the set will allow.


 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1693
Registered: Dec-03
Jan I have to disagree!! strongly!

when i use my 32" toshiba tube tv everything looks good on it.

but when i put a suspect or bad video on my 56" i notice it right away.

so maybe that was the case on earlier sets but not on the newer ones!

the new large hdtv's like mine show really bad video really bad.

while it does not look as bad on my tube tv.
that was my point.

It takes a really good signal for the 56" to look good
but does not take a really good signal for the tube tv to look good.

so i notice bad or suspect video much easier on the 56" then i do on the tube!



 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1694
Registered: Dec-03
and the flaw in your logic is that the pixels are smaller
so you don't notice them as easy. on a smaller set.

when you have larger pixels it's easier to see the flaws!

yes I agree a smaller tube has better pixel resolution
that is why you need a really good source on a large tv or
you will not get a very good video presentation.

when I first got my 56" unit I compaired the 32"
toshiba directly with the 56" using the same player
and same disks. the flaws where much easier to see
on the larger unit.

If you have a dull or lifeless video and you play it on the tube
tv it looks allright, hard to notice.
but you play that on a widescreen and the colors are all washed out
maybe even grainy.

so from my experience it makes a bigger difference
on a larger screen as to the quality of the signal coming in.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1695
Registered: Dec-03
actually jan it's kinda the same concept as photography.

The better the original the larger you can blow up the picture before
it becomes noticably distorted.

 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Ooooeeeee! Touche', Jan - I deserved that one! Brake pedal, indeed, sir! good for you.
Sorry, I think I simply mis-spoke about your reservations re Vivid - sometimes my fingers get way ahead of my brain (not hard to do)You are quite right in your corrections. Three lashes to me, and kudos to you, sir.
OK - if anybody wants to eavesdrop on a good "war," go to Audioholics forum, then scroll down to CD/DVD and access the thread regarding Vivid-snake oil.
The poster, Dessayfan, wants somebody to use it, and the die-hards are telling him/her that it's snake oil and that he/she/s stupid. Well, Dessayfan is apparently also a fan of stereo writer/researcher Jon Risch, and gave him some praise on the thread - to which the diehards called him "discredited" and a lot of other derogatory things.
Welllll - somebody must have tipped off Mr. Risch, for he has some blistering get-backs - a lot of fun to read, as the battle heats up.
I look in on this with great interest, as I tend to believe what I've read of Mr. Risch - much more than I believe the writings of the Audioholics diehards. To each his/her own. . .
Oh, yes, Jan - I "think" the copyright is 1993, but I'll check in a few minutes. It's on hold for me at the library.
Thanks for the Stereophile link - will read it and HOPE that I understand more of it than I understand on most technical articles. Sigh. I wish I were more scientifically adroit! NOT!!!
Won't get into the TV debate, as I'm not qualified here, guyz - all I know about TV is how to turn it on and to adjust color, etc.
KEGGER: Thanks for the player report - I've read a lot about your unit - though it's no longer made - and that its successor is, for some reason, not as well received? will check, though, as I'm trying to get as much info as I can before I make a SACD purchase - without using the brake pedal (I may never live that one down!!) DOUBLE GRIN
More anon. . .
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
JAN: Just checked the library Online, and the Pohlmann book is third edition, 1995. So - what did you think of it - and more importantly, will I, the science-dummy, understand it? Be blunt - it's quite OK! (grin)
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
PS on the Audioholics - if you're wondering where I came in on this - I tried posting as "unregistered guest" - then, after they shot at me, they changed the rules so only registered people could post. I did not register!
More anon. .
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 285
Registered: Mar-04
Larry,
Don't discount the 563-A yet, it can still be found, or at least it could in my neck of the woods last week. The local Circuit City had 4 (yes four) open box specials, each for $88. My guess is they were returned for not being able to play certain discs, like Steely Dan's Gaucho. Silly them, all that's needed is a simple firmware upgrade and walla!! For grins I did check the one model they had hooked up and it did have the older firmware. Certainly no Denon 2200 but at $88 ($99 in my case), its not too shabby a player.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 467
Registered: Apr-04
JohnA,

The Rattle/Mahler DVD-A came in today. I'm a little concerned about whether I'm hearing it "all". This may come as a little bit of a surprise in light of my tests this week but I made the decision to simplify. So, the Mac is currently setup in the living room and is paired with the Denon 2200. The NAD T763 had its picture made yesterday in preparation for the upcoming classified listing.

Anyway, I have the Denon's Audio setting set to 2 channel not multi-channel. The back of the Rattle/Mahler DVD-A states there are 2 mixes: 5.1 Surround and 5.1 Stereo (believe that's a typo/misunderstanding on EMI's part). When I put the disc in, the Denon's display indicates L/C/R/LFE/SL/SR. The disc itself has no menu choice to choose between surround and stereo. So, how do I know for sure that the stereo mix is what is actually playing?

By contrast, if I put in the Eagles "Hotel California", there is a menu on the disk that allows the track to be selected. When I choose the stereo track, the Denon's display shows L/R only.

BTW, I recommend the Firefox internet browser if you haven't tried it yet. Much faster than Safari. It has a clean, simple interface and the tabbing is as good as Safari's. Plus, there's an RSS extension which makes it incredibly simple to get RSS feeds. For PC dogs, there's a Windows version of Firefox, too.

Kegger,

Thanks for the eBay alert on the Mac amp. To keep things simple, I'm selling the NAD surround amp and will put the proceeds into a Mac fund. The plan is to save up for a 6 channel amp, likely an MC126 or MC7106 (the MC206 is out of the price range right now) and a Mac a/v processor. I don't expect to purchase it before the end of the year.

 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 468
Registered: Apr-04
JohnA,

Ok, I figured it out. The stereo mix is on the DVD Video. Doh! I believe you pointed that out to me in an earlier post which I didn't recall until I put in the DVD. Will be watching listening shortly. In the short piece I've listened to I'm hearing it "all" now. :-)
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Ghia - you're in for a treat - really! I know about problems setting up amps and players - I'm still trying to figger out the 24 diff settings for "surround" on my Onkyo. Whatever happened to the "simple life?" (grin)
Sem - thanks - I have limited access to stores down here, but I'll check around and see if any 563s might be "left-over." They DO play SACDs, don't they? If not, I'm not interested.
More anon. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1696
Registered: Dec-03
ghia the only problem you may run into is that the new
mac amp may not have that vintage sound you are looking for.

I checked there multichannel amps and they no longer use
transformers on the outputs.

the cheapest way to get what you want would be a 2 channel mac amp.

but you could allways sell the nad stuff and do
something simular to what i'm doing now.

pick up a nice prepro for a good price then add
some mac amps if thats what you want.

or just add a nice mac 2 channel amp to the prepro then
a 3 or 5 channel amp to the rest of the surround.
depending on 5.1 setup or 7.1.

there are many options to consider.

just pointing out that i think you can get the sound you are looking
for without having to spend an arm and a leg on
all mac stuff.

I would seriously look into other alternatives before you shell
out mac coin.

heck if you got a mac 2 channel amp now you could use it
with the nad setup on your front speakers and if
that didn't do what you wanted you still have the
mac amp to add to your prepro then you just need
the surround amps.

so it still may be a viable option.

i'm not apposeed to anything you want to do with your money
just feel compelled to give you options of getting that sound you
sesarch for.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 469
Registered: Apr-04
BRAVO!! The Rattle/Mahler 5th is magnificent! I was a little hesitant to buy it since I already had 3 recordings of the M5 but this was well worth the expenditure. The performance is outstanding and the recording is excellent. By far, this is my favorite version. 2C, if you don't already have this, it is a must have. Thanks, JohnA!!
 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 195
Registered: Jun-04
Larry: yes, DV-563A is SACD and DVD-A. It is even supposed to be "true DSD" (not SACD downmixed to PCM), but only with bass management deactivated (and I suspect only for stereo tracks). The replacement model seems to have inferior, non-DSD DACs, which means SACD always becomes 88.2 KHz PCM. Not too bad, but not the same.

Anyway, I'm very happy I bought my DV-565A (EU model). It has for me been a very good introduction to hi-rez music.

Cheers
AL
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 470
Registered: Apr-04
Kegger,

I'm looking for Mac sound not necessarily vintage sound. From what I understand, Mac has a "signature" sound that is consistent through the product line (except for differences between SS and tube.)

If I go with 2 channel amps I would have to get 3 - which would ultimately end up being almost as expensive as 1 six channel amp. For instance, the MC 250 you pointed out to me sells in the 400-500 range so three of those would run $1200-1500. Plus, I would be buying 3 used amps and I think that would increase the risk of potential problems in regards to the performance specs, etc, depending on how well they were taken care of by previous owners. An MC126 can be had in the $1400-1900 range.

Maybe you have a point, though, about whether I need to have a full Mac setup for all channels. It's probably not imperative for movies (especially since I rarely watch them at home) but I would think it would be more important for surround music. Sort of like matching the timbre of your speakers is more important now because of surround music.

You and Jan obviously know more about the interworkings of the amps so I defer to your judgement about that. Thanks for your input about this! Jan, do you have any input about the multi-channel Macs - particularly in regards to the sound in relation to what I get from the MA 6200.

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2327
Registered: Dec-03
Ghia,

Great. So glad you liked it. It is worth viewing the DVD-V, too. Rattle conducts like a man possessed. I think he has no brake pedal, either.

Yes, I noticed "5.1 stereo" and wondered who they employ at EMI to write cover notes.

Thank you for the browser recommendation. I am about up to here with browsers. Safari is certainly now suffering from creeping feature -itis, but you still can't configure MIME types to applications. As an Old Dog I so wish NCSA had been able to keep going with Mosaic, which stopped at v.2 after Anderson and those guys defected to start Netscape. Those were the days, before spam and pop-up advertising.

Larry,

Thanks for all kind comments. I suspend personal judgement on Vivid, pending tests. I do not see how putting something on a disc can do anything directly to the analogue stage.

Just to go back one step, I am sure there are benefits in playing clean dics. The question in my mind is whether Vivid does anything else, and, if so, how.

Jan,

You are absolutely correct about Mercury Living Presence, it is really something. If you listen to that edition of CD review, the direct link seems to be

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio3_aod.shtml?cdreview

There is a way to start at 50 minutes in (when the Mercury feature begins) if you use Real Player stand-alone application and can read html. It's an interesting whole show, though, if you like classical and hifi. There is a fantastic Biber vln. sonata in the first part. Definitely a Brit perspective, that show. Probably parts seem weird and parochial over there. The presenter is very knowledgable but a bit young.... Doubt if he was even born when Mercury were doing their stuff. I have not yet got over a ludicrous voice-over I heard him do on the "Classical" channel on a long Thai Air flight, once. Probably he was hired for his accent, and enthusiasm.

I still do not know what three microphones will do better than two. However, hearing the original 3-channel is another good reason for getting SACD. Shame they do not do DVD-A, too.

Going back to CD Review, the current playlist is here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/cdreview/pip/dhul9/

BTW Next Saturday's edition promises an interview with Elvis Costello.
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
AL - many thanks for the 563 info. Yes, I have read several places where consumers are less than thrilled with the, uh, 578 I think it's called. No 563s in the stores here in Swampville - but am still looking around. Until poor Mer has her two new crowns in place on teeth, well, the kitty only has enough coins for one project at a time! Sigh.

John A. - yes, my friend, my head is starting to hurt with all the debate(s) re Vivid. I'm just plain "stopping" for now. When I get your discs copied off and sent, and when I find anything NEW to talk about, I'll chime in again. Jan V. is quite correct here, sir - TIME FOR ME TO PUT ON THE BRAKES! (grin)

Ghia - gee, I didn't realize that there was any doubts about the sound quality of the new(er) Macs. I always thought them to be sorta like Volvos - solid and dependable. I'll still bet that the sound "better"(OK, hard to define) than most of the stuff that's on the market today. I envy your time and resources to follow your passion to the extent you seem to be doing.

OJO - as Harry Belafonte once sang: "my heart is down, my head is spinning around. . ." Mer and I went a-looking for our Bolling discs - only to find them missing! Then we had a chilling thought: we'd given some more CDs to the library when we left Sedona two years ago - did we, could we have, no, we surely didn't give away THOSE CDs? Maybe they're in a stray moving box? Ouch.
Will let you know if we find them
More anon. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1697
Registered: Dec-03
well ghia it seems you got my point.

and you have some valid questions.

and i'm sure jan has some educated answers for you.

my guess would be the mac amps of yesteryear compaired to
new surround/multi channel amps without output transformers
are going to sound different.

so what i was suggesting was use a vintage 2 channel mac for
the front speakers and any good quality 3channel
or 5channel "7.1 vs 5.1"
for the center and rears.

as you have discovered 2 channel is very important.
so the mac amp should get your 2 channel that your looking for.
now as long as your front speakers and center match in timbre
before you add amps they should match enough for
surround.

and the rears don't need to be the same speaker or the same amp.

so my figuring would be a preamp/processor "prepro"
like a rotel or b&k or whatever else in $1000 range
then your mac 2 channel amp for the fronts around $500
then a 3 or 5 channel amp for around $500

so for about $2000 you get your mac 2 channel and your mc.

if you buy the mac amp and processor i'm sure it would be considerably
more and i'm not sure you'd be any better off.

not to mention if the mac amp "multi" doesn't have
the sound you have now.

so what i was saying is you could probably save yourself some
cash and still get what your after.

have you priced mac prepro's?

I have not but imagine they are quite expensive.

please don't take this as me harping what you should do.

this is just what i would do if i was in your position.
that doesn't meen it's right. it's just from my experince that
has been my conclusion as the best bang for the buck setup procedure.

That is how i go about trying to do something.


After i learned i could have my 2 channel live in
harmony with my multi setup, anyone looking to do something that
could benefit from such a setup, that will be my recomendation.

good luck to you in however you do it.

if you decide to go the multichannel mac amp route
i suggest you listen to one in stereo with simular speakers to yours.




 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2329
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

I salute you for remembering "Jamaican Farewell" (isn't it "turning around...") but you have put me right off McIntosh amps.

" I always thought them to be sorta like Volvos "

Please say it isn't so.

Mac amps, too, have lights that stay on after they are unplugged, being powered not by electricity, but by self-satisfaction?

I was going to echo Ghia's quesion to Jan about McIntosh multichannel.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1698
Registered: Dec-03
also i'm not knocking the new mac multichannel amps.

I'm sure they are great amps. "more than likely awsome"

but i do suspect they do not have the same sound
as the vintage amps.
I also believe without the autoformers on the multichannel amps
they will sound different.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2330
Registered: Dec-03
Kegger,

That is a good way to do it. There is a Naim three-channel power amp that should be a fine way to extend two channels to five.
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
To my magnifying-glass-holding friend John A. - yah got me, pahdner! Yep - "turning," not "spinning." Ole dawgs . . .
But let me shine the light on you, sir! It is "Jamaica Farewell," not "JamaicAN Farewell." And in your part of the world, the words might go like this:

Ik ben zo alleen, zo heel alleen
Want ik mis iets moois om me heen
Mijn hart dat huilt, ik voel mij somber en down
Ik liet mijn meisje achter ginds, in Kingston-town

Shall we call it a draw? (double grin)

Oh, and BTW - what's wrong with Volvos? I always considered them the epitome of solid conveyance!

More anon. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2331
Registered: Dec-03
Larry,

Touché. I thought it might be "Jamaica". I guessed, and guessed incorrectly. Penalty point to Larry.

"what's wrong with Volvos?" How long have I got?

The verse you quote is truly all Dutch to me.

Therefore I think I am just still slightly ahead, but only on points.

BTW Volvo passenger vehicles are mostly made in Netherlands, for good reasons, and owned by Ford. See discussion on this forum about badges, customer loyalty, brand positioning, globalization, OEM, Corporate America, etc. etc. It applies to cars as much as hifi. Even Jaguar is now Ford. There are limits, you know. As I said, just wait for the McIntosh MP3 player, owned by "who knows?", and made in Taiwan....
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
John A. - hope you realize (as you surely must) that any such "challenge" on my part is purely in fun - and never designed to "one-up" you.
As to Volvos - well, sir, I based my comment on the fact that I have many friends driving those cars - and they love them! They always talk about reliability, safety, etc. So - you obviously have an entirely different "data base" than I have. I bow to your higher level of information - and can only say as "somebody famous" once said (who the heck WAS that) "a little knowledge is dangerous."

PS - it took me about 13 light-years to find that Dutch translation! (triple grin)

Oh, BTW - here's a good challenge for you. Remember the now-antique argument about green pens and marking CD sides and all? Well, I'm part of an on-going argument - no, fight - elsewhere. The "bad guy" contends that red laser light is transformed into green light because of the refraction index of a CDs polycarbonate layer. I contend that the refraction slows down the light, but does not change the single-wavelength frequency of the laser beam.
I've tried it myself - shine a laser pointer at a disc - then see how the light scatters. Take either a CD-R or "trashed" commercial disc - sand the outer rim, and a part of the flat layers on both sides of the disc until just the clear polycarb is left. Now - shine the pointer again, and the sanded parts will sorta "glow." With red light - not green. As far as I'm concerned, that proves my point.
I bow to your expertise in most things, John - what say you after due pondering?

More anon. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 2334
Registered: Dec-03
I say you are a natural scientist, Larry, have done the key experiment, an understand the theory that is required to explain the result.

I keep saying that, if the marker pen argument is correct, always choose black. Nothing ever comes back on this.

More on Jamaica Farewell in Dutch and Volvos. My first shot in the Volvo war is that they are often driven by academics.

Do I need to say more?
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


I will not enter into a discussion of Volvo. I sold Acuras (high end Honda for those outside of the US) and Volvo has an all together different conotation to me. There are those who buy Volvos and those who don't. They are not the same people who buy McIntosh. They are not even the same people who buy Saabs.

John - I was wondering how Mac would get backlit blue meters on an MP3 player. I found there are none on their current MP3 capable player, the 851:

http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/data/compare/sourcecomp4.04.pdf

As to the "vintage sound" of McIntosh products; I will sound like a salesperson for a moment. Does Mac have a vintage sound and a new sound? Only if music has a vintage sound and a new sound. (Please, John, no discussion of original instruments vs. contemporary instruments.)

There was a comment on another thread that stated Naim has a new sound and my reply was whether that made all of their old gear no longer correct. I have also referred to the new sound that over took companies such as Yamaha as they went for more market share in the US. Mac has not done business like that and hopefully never will.
It was made clear that when Mac went from tubes to soild state there was no difference in sound because McIntosh didn't design for "a sound". Their "sound" was the result of the design concept they followed. As of now, when Mac is producing tube and s.s. products, there is no distinct sound of a Mac product that can change due to the output devices used. Mac originally stopped making tubes primarily because the tubes do age and need replacement occasionally. Solid state offered the ability to extend the time period when McIntosh product would be within its specifications. The ability of the user to easily replace tubes with those not seen as within spec was also a concern for Mac. So, if one wishes to see that as a reliability issue or not, the move to s.s. was one of maintaining Mac's specifications not a sound quality issue. Recently an audiophile magazine reviewed both a tube and s.s. amplifier in the same issue. The review was apparently initiated by Mac as a way to display the similarities, not the differences, between the types of product they currently build. The result of the listening tests were that both amps displayed what would be considered the strengths of the different devices but, on the whole, the two amps sounded more alike than different. I would say, from my experience, that is a fair assessment of McIntosh "sound". Overall McIntosh has been the most consistent company I have seen in audio. They make Linn seem like they are searching for a "sound". The only amp I am aware of that fell short of the "Mac sound" was a slim line 50 watt power amp that didn't sell much. It was obviously McIntosh sound but lacked the quality that made you want to buy it for a few dollars less than their full sized amp with 105 watts. Plus it had no meters so it was boring to look at; you knew you had McIntosh, but unless someone else looked they wouldn't know. With those big blue meters showing everyone knows you have McIntosh.

As to what Ghia should be looking at, I would say that is up to her to decide as much on her desires as on the sound. The NAD is apparently nearing the marketplace becuse she would prefer to simplify. Kegger, on the other hand, is content to surround himself with enough amplifiers that he will never have to turn on his furnace this winter. With all the glowing bottles in his basement the feds are going to think he's growing something illegal down there. I think Kegger's set up is quite interesting and would be something to hear. (The cat's pajamas one might say.) I can't imagine one of his friends coming over and not being blown away by the overwhelming nature of his system right now. And the versatility of his system is too be admired. But ....


My question to Ghia would be; is that what you want? The MA6200 you own does not have autoformers. So what are you going to gain by buying a Mac with autoformers? The ability to drive a 4, 8 or 16 ohm load with a slightly better match between the output impedance of the amplifier and the various impedance characteristics of the speaker load. That is the reason for autoformers, no other. Unlike the transformers that Kegger is dealing with on his tube amps. autoformers are a slighty different concept. There is no need to go into the differences here, anyone can go to Mac's web site and read if they are interested. The autoformers are used in the belief that, like tube amps, the difference in the output impedance of the amp vs. the speaker load was a factor in why amplifiers had a "sound". By puting the various taps on the amplifier's outputs Mac was able, in the interest of maintaining specs, to ensure more reliable wattage no matter what the load.
Will there be a difference between a McIntosh amp with autoformers and one without autoformers? If you have to ask that question, you haven't been paying attention. Mac is Mac!

If Ghia wishes to take the time, I would suggest she listen to her amp against a new Mac integrated amp. Take her 6200 in to a Mac dealer that will let her switch back and forth between the two. (Did I mention Mac is making a tubed integrated again?) I would guess she will hear that Mac has progressed in the twenty years since her amp was built. But I doubt she will be aware of a new Mac sound. Then I would suggest she listen to a McIntosh processor against the other choices she thinks she could afford. If she takes her best two channel recordings in to play against those discs in multi channel I would think she would have a better idea of where she should put her money. It seems apparent she wants to keep multi channel, but how to build the system to that point is the question. What component to buy next and how much complexity does she think she wants. That should be where a Mac salesperson should be able to advise her.

From what I read, I would, as a salesperson, suggest she go with the simplified route of less equipment sitting around with less interconnects and as much flexibility. What she hears will likely take precedence over what it looks like.

As to Ghia's concern about how a previous owner has treated their McIntosh equipment affecting its performance; here, I would suggest there is little to worry about. One of Mac's selling points has been they have a higher percentage of their equipment still in use that any other audio company. Most Mac gets put on a shelf and isn't moved (especially true now that clinics have gone away) so how a Mac is treated is most often very good. And remember The Grateful Dead travelled with Mac as their sound system because of its ability to take punishment. Unless it looks as if it has been dropped by a delivery guy, any Mac should be a welcome addition to the family. I remember my advice to Ghia when her first 6200 arrived damaged and there is always the possibility of hidden dammage; but, if she is confident she is getting told the truth about a used piece, she can, if she desires, proceed with good feelings about her purchase.





 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
John A. - L O L! Had me rolling on the floor with yer Volvo (hahahahaha) statement. And if there ever were a valid argument AGAINST those cars, well, you've made it, my friend! Good one!!
By the way, one of the "flamers" on another forum finally caved in and grudgingly admitted that the polycarb layer on the CDs has refraction that changes the - velocity - not the -frequency - of the laser light. Thus, voila! I made one small step for a man, a giant leap for truth in debating! (or some such nonsense)
There have been many give-and-takes on whether green or black markings do a better job. I have tried both, and frankly can't tell the difference, though I THINK I can tell a difference between marked and un-marked discs. I think that perhaps "nothing comes back" because most people either are tired/bored with the argument, or are afraid of being called names for their position for/against. The biggest argument AGAINST disc-marking is that the laser light can't bounce around enough to affect the main laser-stream. Sigh. Some testing of questionable validity has been done - but not for years. So - until more science is entered into the equation, I guess the matter is moot?
I'm so deep in my research now that poor Mer says I'm beginning to look and sound like an - ARE YOU READY: - "academic!" (triple grin)
I'm determined to get to the bottom of a lot of things involving CD sound - but will be merciful and only post results, not the eternal quest! (brakes, Lar!!!)
OJO - as I posted on "Discoveries" - I found the two Claude Bolling CDS - cello and flute - which had somehow slipped behind the other CDs in the bookcase. A bit of a scare there!

JAN V. - are there any other Online forums that you would recommend - I'm always interested in places that would have intelligent conversation about music, electronics, books, etc. Any you might have come across - that you respect?
Thanx in advance.
BTW, Jan - you have probably found some consumer reviews of the 4960 - as I have. The only "bad" things seem to be an overall "plain" look and feel, and some criticism of the lightweight connections on the back. Otherwise, most people find the sound to be smooth and the operation adequate. As to the remote, however, they hate it, as well as what they call the "Eng-Asian" writing in the manual! Hmmm. . . having downloaded it, I know what you/they mean! Good luck with your new "friend!"

More anon. . .
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
John A. - re "little green markings" you might be interested in this.

http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/tweaks/messages/27625.html

More anon. . .
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


"So - until more science is entered into the equation, I guess the matter is moot?"

That, I believe, is the brake and the clutch being depressed.


Larry - I haven't cruised around too much for other forums. They're out there, but I spend more than enough time on this one. About the only other forum I touch on is a vintage tube forum, but, even there, they want to discuss the sound of 12AX7's and 6NS4's in amplifiers I have never seen on the market. The question came up whether the vintage McIntosh amps were worth the money and admiration they had aquired in the audiophile market and no one had any experience with a Mac amp! It is too much for me to take in over a period of time. And when you go from audio to music you can really cover a wide range of topics and attitudes. Just think of someone coming from "Grammophone" to "Audioholics"! If you are doing that, Larry, you should be listening to more music.


I've made up my mind for the most part about the Toshiba's sound. The answers to my questions when I call Toshiba will make up my mind. If you know of any reviews I could access they might get me better answers than I am likely to find at Toshiba.


 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
JV - nearly all of the "reviews" I've read are rather informal ones on the I-net - but I'll look out for better ones - fer shore!
Yes, my friend - I DO need to listen to more music! Sigh.
BTW Jan - what, if much, do you know about Jon Risch? I've read many of his articles, and expresses himself well to those of us who don't understand algorhythms, etc. Just asking. . .
Now that I've reserved Pohlmann's book on Digital Audio (1995) at the library I see that he also has a Handbook of Compact Discs - though I can't find it in the library catalog. Have you read/heard of it?
More anon. . .
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
JV - one for you from audioreview.com. . .

Reviewed by: Peter_13, Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid: $119 at amazon.com

Product Model Year:
2004

Summary:
I purchased the 4960 to replace a broken Toshiba SD-4700. What a disappointment! This unit is a huge step back from the 4700.

The PICTURE IS SO BAD, that I could not believe my eyes. I have a 55" HDTV, 3:4, made by Toshiba (don't they test their players on their TVs?) I am using the component inputs in progressive mode. What is so bad with the picture: Everything. First, it is not sharp enough, actually, this is an understatement. Second, the colors are washed away, grayish, dull. Out of the box, it is too bright. I tried all corrections possible on my TV, boosted the contrast (not that I am a big fan of high contrast), lowered the brightness, the picture was still bad. I am not too picky about the video and I am more concerned with the sound quality but this unit makes you want to throw away your TV. Nothing changes if I switch to interlaced mode.

The AUDIO section is excellent. There are some reports that the DACs are Blurr-Brown. I did not open it to verify this but they certainly sound like this. Very smooth, yet detailed, perhaps not as much as other high quality DACs but very listenable. The bass is somewhat soft and some may find the highs a bit muted but I am really being too picky here. It pushes the limits of my system (Marantz SR-7000 receiver, Definitive Technology BP-10 speakers). People with better equipment would not consider this player as a CD player anyway. The DVD-audio is excellent, too but not as satisfying as 2 channel DVD-audio that really shines. It is noticeably better that the DVD-audio on the SD-4700. I cannot say much about the SACD play -- I own only one title -- The Dark Side of the Moon, and it does not sound as good as I expected. The bass is a bit boomy, the sound is somewhat dark. Well, it is 30+ years old recording. I read somewhere that the SACD is coming from a different DAC made by Phillips.

A big annoyance is that the LFE level on DVD-audio and 2 channel stereo/SACD is very different -- about 15 dB or more. The player does not have the ability to adjust the LFE or any other channel level. The bass management redirects the bass from the L, R, etc. speakers to the sub, if needed. It seems to work on DD, (on DVD-Audio maybe) but not on 2 channel stereo.

The REMOTE is terrible, the unit responds very slowly to it, sometimes never does, many controls are unintuitive. For example, the play button sometimes has to be pressed once, shortly, as usual but sometimes you need to hold it for a second or so if there is a menu on the screen (pressing it for a short time replaces the OK button). The problem is that when listening to CDs you do not watch the TV screen and never know whether Stop, Pause, Play buttons have to be hold or not. Most of the time, you have to hold them. Very annoying. The telephone rings, you press Pause, nothing happens. Then you remember that you have to press and hold. Meanwhile, the phone stops ringing. Another annoying thing is that the OK button is not in the center of the Up, Down, Left, Right ones.

I decided to keep this player as a universal music player and to look for another one for movies. I had to hook it up through the S-video inputs in order to free the component ones for another player. Then the big surprise came. The picture through the S-video inputs was excellent! If I did not know that it was coming from the S-video input, I would be very happy with my purchase. It was much sharper than before, better colors, better everything. I tried the composite input -- still very good picture with visible loss of detail as can be expected.

A nice surprise is the pan-scan feature -- it really works. It zooms anamorphic wide-screen movies so that they fit perfectly on a 4:3 screen with loss of some information on the sides, of course. The pan-scan on the 4700 never made any difference.

I managed to fix the old SD-4700 and hooked it up again. The difference is striking -- the SD-4700 has a way better picture than the 4960. They both use Zoran chips of different generations, I guess, so I cannot understand what went wrong with the 4960. I also tried Harman Kardon DVD-22 (excellent video) . The 4700 comes close after it, while the 4960 does not compare to those two at all, it is just terrible.

1 star for video, 5 for audio. Since this is a DVD player after all, my overall rating is 2 stars. One more than it really deserves because people with non HD TVs might be actually satisfied. It is a good value however, for the sound.

Strengths:
excellent audio for the money

Weaknesses:
Terrible video quality through the component inputs. Think of this as a music player with the video capability to display menus.

Similar Products Used:
SD-4700 (much, much better), HK DVD-22 (the best I tried but has other problems), older Toshiba DVD players.

More anon. . .
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
JAN: - - OOPS - forgot to add - look on Amazon and you will find, I think, three reviews, including the one above. Another chap opines that he thinks this guy set up his player all wrong! Sounds like it to me, too!

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

That is really the only review I come up with when I search. But I get bored, again, if I have to wade through seven screens to get to the same information. I'll keep looking, but, as I said, I think I've made up my mind about the 4960. I did see a product information piece that claims it will do true bass management and I didn't see that capacity when I looked at the various menus.

I only know of Risch nothing about him. Pohlman's other book has never been something I looked for, sorry.



 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1699
Registered: Dec-03
Jan I ask 1 question.

could the old mcintosh unit that ghia is using and a new
multichannel mac have a distinctive difference in sound?

And if so what is the likelyhood of that.

because my feeling is highly likely that the new multichannel amp
is going to sound different.

Im sure it's an exelent amp. but I got to believe
the older parts in that amp that ghia is using
"caps,resistors,switches,pots or whatever else"
are going to have a certain sound to them that a
new design multi channel amp will not.

Just from the difference I hear in caps leads me to believe this.

I would be shocked to learn they are using the same caps
in a 30year old amp as in a new multichannel amp.

That's my thinking anyways. am I way off?

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Kegger - No, you're not way off; but, neither is the sound of one Mac vs. another. The 6200 uses, mostly, poly caps and wire wound resistors. The internal wiring is a good quality wire with poly dielectric. All cable runs are kept short; and, switches and pots, while not marked as an audiophile "correct" unit, are substantially better quality than the average that was used in most audiophile products of the day when the top of the line Counterpoint used an Alps control that could be purchased for under $10. Speaker output connectors are the weakest link being push type connectors. Still a 14 AWG can fit inside and will make a good, if not necessarily great, connection. Most all of Mac's critical parts, by the time the 6200 was built, were held to no more than 1% tolerances. As far as I can remember there are no IC's in the signal path. Those aren't bad qualifications as far as I can see.

The sound of a new McIntosh will reflect the improvement in parts quality that has taken place in Mac over the past ten years. There will be better detail and a more "audiophile" sound. But the basic chahracter of a McIntosh product has not changed as far as I can tell. I haven't spent the time with their new products as I used to 15 years ago; but, the Mac sound is somewhat identifiable in its sameness over the years.

The best example I can give is going to get worn out for those not interested in the Mac sound; but, here goes.

The original MC275 tube amp is considered the "classic" Mac tube amp. When it was reissued in the mid 90's a few magazines aquired both old and new 275's to compare. McIntosh got Sydney Cordesman (who had designed most of Mac's tube line including the 275) to go over the new amp's design. The new amp was essentially the identical circuit with a few modifications to allow a balanced input. In unbalanced operation the amps where 99.9% identical. The old 275 had pio caps and 30 year old transformers. The new amp had polypropylene caps and metal film resistors; and, much better input and output connectors. Both amps had point to point wiring. The new amp benefitted from a better (star) grounding system.
Using the same tubes between both amps the conclusion was the new 275 was worth the money on everything other than a nostalgia ratio. But the suprise was the similarities and not the differences. Did the pio caps give some pieces of music the benefit? Certainly. But other pieces benefitted from the improved speed and quiteness of the new amp. Neither, as far as I could tell, was judged the "winner" and certainly neither was considered the loser.

The MC275 has been reissued again and is in the production line up as an ongoing model. It is pretty much what was reissued as the Gordon Gow Commemorative Model that was made in the mid 90's. This amp has been reviewed and is now in the "Stereophile" class A amps under tube amplifiers.

I'm not going to disagree at all with what you are hearing as "vintage" sound with different parts. What I'm saying is the parts are matters of degree and not character when you are comparing two Mac products. I would be suprised if Ghia made a comparison and heard no difference what so ever. I would also be suprised if she reported the sound was no longer "Mac". And from a stand point of what the 6200 is playing for her, it has more in common with the new Mac mc's than my tube amps did when I first got them.


When I was looking at upgrading the ST70's I found several kits that suggested their parts did not throw away what was the best part of the Dynaco sound. The modifiers realized the reason the amp had the reputation it had acquired is not because of the transformers or the circuit layout. They listened and found that midrange that is so very inviting. The parts were responsible for that sound but they were not the sound itself. In the 80's and 90's when tube amps were still more of a rarity than today, many modifications of the ST70 tried to make it sound like a solid state amp (no tube rectification, right?) and they lost what was the magic of the product. They shoved a 90's Corvette engine into a '64 Corvette body. I would suspect you have found those modifiers that want to keep what is good about the original tube sound and make the weaknesses less obvious. That should be a change in degree not in character. I have always questioned any modification that didn't recognize what was good about the original product.

I guess I'm again not making my point well. Mac is not about sounding like tubes or solid state or different capacitors. McIntosh is not about sounding like anything that has to do with HiFi. If you've been around it, Mac's sound is identifiable. But there isn't any other standard that Mcintosh has used for their "sound" other than music. There is nothing that is more or less correct about new or old Mac. The only other company I have been around with this quality is Quad. I understand a few British companies such as Sugden are similar but I have no experience with their equipment. Rega and Spendor are close to the same approach. Apparently Musical Fidelity is building that sort of reputation.




 

Silver Member
Username: Arnold_layne

MadridSpain

Post Number: 197
Registered: Jun-04
VOLVO??? OK, here we go:

My father bought a 140DL station wagon back in 1972. Used it for 340.000 kms, only major repair was 1 clutch. 1985 he sold it (!!) and bought a 740GLE. 19 years and 400.000 kms later he recently sold that one too. Of course he bought another Volvo, this time a V70. My brother has one too, very nice car. I had one Volvo back in the early eighties. Never failed me, even started up fine at -35º C.

Oh, and there are no particular reasons for making cars in Holland. It happened because of Volvo's plans to merger with Dutch manufacturer DAF in the 70s. The first Dutch-made Volvos, 340 and 440, had a truly bad reputation.

So, the cars that rolled out from Torslanda factory near Gothemburg were tougher than the rest, in their own way ;-)

Cheers
AL
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1700
Registered: Dec-03
allright you've answered it JAN.

It sounds like your saying yes they will sound different "mainly just from age"

But they will carry the same mac sound.
As long as these new multichannel amps haven't changed since you've
been involved with them.

I can relate to that.

And I guess that was what I was getting after.

Like all 3 of my st-70's sound different but still carry
the same signature to a degree. Even when i mod them one
might stand out as being the clear winner "for me"
but will still carry a simular sound.

So I guess the only thing left is if one wants to pay for the mac
and that the new amps carry enough of the same signature
as the old ones.

So if interested in buying some new mac equipment
take a good listen in 2channel with simular speakers
as to what you are using, then evaluate what you are hearing.

I would go along with that.

Hopefully like you said, now that theres some new
people in charge at the head they don't screw with things to much.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


I would only add that the Mac sound, as a result of design and manufacture, was much more consistent than Dynaco. Much of Dynaco's success was the price point they originally sold at. It was later that people actually got around to realizing how good the Dynaco sound could be. As you and I have discussed, a large part of that sound's success was due to the transformers and Dynaco's history as a transformer manufacturer. But the ST70 has several variations in transformers, each having a "sound" ascribed to that transformer number. I have never heard or read that Mac ever changed transformers or autoformers during a model run.

McIntosh has always had a good market with audiology labs and other needs groups that depended on a very consistent product. I would say they are similar to the LS3/5a in that any one from any production run of 3/5a's can be paired or substituted with any other with no resulting loss of performance. Not having compared directly dozens upon dozens of a given Mac product; from what I have heard of the many Mcintosh products I sold and installed I would say they do not have the variations of the Dynacos. Mac is Mac.

Will they sound different from age, that's hard to tell. Since there are no new 6200's or MC240's to compare with the best example is the old and new MC275. There are some differences between the two amps; but, what do you say is the cause of this or that quality? Age? Different parts? Probably some of both.
When Mac got to the point that the parts were spec'd to better than 1% tolerance the age factor became somewhat mitigated. Even as a component ages its relative value is unlikely to swing too far out of spec unless it is defective. Does the 6200 sound the same as I remember 20 years ago? Yes. Is my memory that good? I don't know. I know I'm still as good looking as I was twenty years ago. That should count for something towards my powers of recollection.






 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


I'm sure you have all been paying some attention to the number of posts this thread has had since the end of May. We are nearing 1700. There are more posts on this thread alone than most other portions of this forum. This is the only thread to have more than a few dozen responses. There is only one thing responsible for this phenomenon, and I think we all deserve to hear it;































We all need a life!











 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 932
Registered: Aug-04
I've been sitting back for while reading and evaluating polishes, tweaks and how Mac's are the greatest etc. Then this:

"I know I'm still as good looking as I was twenty years ago. That should count for something towards my powers of recollection."

This statement got me ready to pounce at once on such blatant ego-tripping, but when read correctly all it really means is that J. V. is still as good looking as he was twenty years ago which, on a scale of 1 to 10 could well be a .02 or worse.

And if that was the case, it would be very hard to forget indeed - even for those with minimal powers of recollection.

So Mr Vigne, maybe we should wonder about your memory . . .

:-)
 

Silver Member
Username: Myrantz

Post Number: 933
Registered: Aug-04
A life is for those not umbilically connected to a computer.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1701
Registered: Dec-03
agreed with your last post jan.

But when I mention the sound of older parts. I don't mean they
sound that way neccasarily from aging but how they were made
or what they were made out of then comparred to now.

As you and I know resistors,transistors and caps
have gone through some signifacent changes.

And that is where I would suspect the biggest difference would be.

Not to mention the curcuitry in a new amp "not a new release of old"
is more than likely quite different, i would imagine more in
the multichannel amps then say a 2 channel.
 

Silver Member
Username: Ghiacabriolet

NC

Post Number: 471
Registered: Apr-04
LR wrote: I envy your time and resources to follow your passion to the extent you seem to be doing.

It's ironic you should say something like that. I've spent most of the past couple of days wondering why the heck I spent most of my vacation doing the listening tests. What purpose did it serve? I don't know. Seeing the video of the CARE director who had been kidnapped in Iraq made me ashamed of how I spend so much of my time. Here I am agonizing over which speaker sounds better with which amp or whether stereo sounds better than multichannel and this poor woman is in a life threatening situation through no fault of her own. Seeing her anguish and pleading for her life just put the way I spent my week into a different, unflattering perspective. Even beyond the trauma she is currently experiencing, she was living her life in a way that made a difference. Hopefully, her life will be spared.

Jan and Kegger,

Thanks for your debate about the Mac's. I think I got most of my questions answered. At this point, I have great satisfaction with the experience of the MA6200 and stereo. Maybe down the road, I will venture back into multichannel (with used not new Mac). For now, the plan is to sell the NAD T763 and possibly the MA front and center speakers. Will keep the Denon for the hi-res stereo mixes, the MA 6200 for the purity of the music and the B&W's for how they pair with the Mac. Will probably get Spendors at some point.

JohnA,

I did watch the video of Rattle/Mahler and he is amazing. Clearly, he is passionate about what he does and I envy that. At the same time, I am thankful because this performance is extraordinary. Thanks again for bringing it to our attention.

Hopefully, this post doesn't put too much of a damper on things. I'm sincerely sorry if it does. This is just me trying to figure out my purpose.



 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Ghia - great post, lady - never be afraid of being a "downer" - only be afraid of forgetting your humanity - which, obviously, you have not! For 32 years I watched the reel of human misery play itself out before my eyes - and I often wept for and with the victims of life's cruelty and inequities. Yes, the CARE lady touches all of us, and Merri and I "got into it" today about that very thing - not with each other, but just ranting about the amorality of Middle East life, and how we've put our husbands/wives/sisters/brothers in harms way over there - to what purpose? Sorry - I rant.

AL - yes, indeed, my friend - I have friends who have more than 250,000 on their beloved "V's" and they're going strong! (probably academics???)
Anyway - I happen to love my Toyota Camry the same way they love their Volvos - I have 148,000 miles on my car, and I hope that "she" and I go many more miles together before we both collapse in a heap! John A. please note - Toyota Camrys are not associated with Ford Motor Company! (grin)

As to this threads longevity - well, y'all are a bunch of true thinkers, and openly expressive of your opinions and ideas. That, friends, is what keeps threads going, and families together, and loved ones in touch, and nations from "nuking" each other - though I always fear that scenario isn't far from reality. Sigh.
So keep posting, questioning, opinionating, back-patting, challenging and yes, supporting each other in life - which ain't easy!!! Congrats. . .
 

Larry R
Unregistered guest
Ghia - BTW - your first paragraph was deep - very deep. Mer and I have read it over a dozen times now, and its meaning rings out louder each time. We - all of us - forget that we are in the top one tenth of a percent of the world's "fortunate" ones. Thoughts nicely expressed, Ghia. . .
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 1702
Registered: Dec-03
agreed ghia/larry and mr.rantz.

Life is about much more then us here with our audio choices!

But none of us are going to throw away are audio setups and
go join a cult.

So to try and lighten the mood a little.
here's a pic of my 2channel amp evaluating setup!

Upload
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Ghia - Truly a downer? More a shot of reality; the sort this thread seems to produce occasionally. We have all been conditioned to ignore another's plight while seeking our own pleasure. That is commercialism. That is the world we live in. In the area I live in I have come to understand the range of your experience quite well. Our problems are small in a world of immense turmoil.

None of us can realize the amount of good fortune we have everyday. Fortunately we can find a spark of humanity in the music we choose. How much time is spent saving a country from ruin is not the point of most lives. For most it is that we can realize people are willing to risk their existence to stop oppression. That people are being shot simply because they wish to create the art that is within themself. If we loose that ability we loose too much. If we cede the ability to feel that to others we have lost too much.

If a week to think about how you are spending your time is what has come from a week of listening to music; you have, at least, been touched by the music in some way.

This thread has been crticized for its rambling nature; but, that is what makes this more valuable to those who participate than any other on this forum. Over the last six months we have had a wide range of emotions, rolling laughter and simple questions, that are not found elsewhere on this, or most any, forum. The ability to go from thought to thought as this thread has taken us is much like the music we listen to. Without this forum what would you have done with your week? Watch TV? That is a wasted week. You spent a week with some art and you began to ponder life's inequalities. That is a week well spent.



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