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Archive through March 10, 2006

 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 316
Registered: Nov-05
"I hate to admit it, but she was right - and now I don't like the album, either!"

The question is Larry, did you like it before? It strange how someone's impression can alter one's own. Music, although personal in some ways, is something we like to share and when the enjoyment is unanimous, the satisfaction level becomes heightened. No?

So Mer didn't like dem chops huh?
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 322
Registered: Nov-05
John

FYI:http://www.xrcd.net/Shopping/process.asp

There is also XRCD2 abd XRCD24. They are not cheap: http://www.acousticsounds.com for comparison.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1122
Registered: Oct-04
MR: Well, I was sorta ambivalent towards it before, just thought it was one of those "BG" discs that you put on when you drink a LOT? In other words - I never really "liked" it - and so Mer's comments sealed the deal.

Jan: PM me your address - I had it - lost it. Sorry.

A late night up in Sarasota - opera - a GREAT performance of Verdi's I Masnadieri - the robbers. Top-notch singing - thrilling!

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7723
Registered: May-04


http://www.kumadesign.com/


Great quote!


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3956
Registered: Dec-03
Upload

I have a Rega Apollo CD player for home demo over the weekend.

Will report back tomorrow.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 327
Registered: Nov-05
Good one John - look forward to your views.

 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7729
Registered: May-04


SUCK THE MARROW, JOHN, SUCK THE MARROW!!! YUMMM, GOOD BONE! GOOD BONE!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1123
Registered: Oct-04
Jan: waiting for your address, sir.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Don RX-1
Unregistered guest
"Just listen to that left hand - all chop and no follow-through on the chord progressions."

I can only smile at that comment, Larry, especially the last part.

In your earlier posting, though, you said, "...It is the performance that counts here - and I consider it Evans at his finest..." So what really changed your opinion of the CD? I'm just curious to know.

I can only say that Bill Evans' style does not appeal to everyone, unlike, that of Oscar Peterson, George Shearing or Erroll Garner. Empathy/A Simple Matter of Conviction isn't one of my favorite Evans albums. But perhaps, to explain the "all chop" part: when a tune is played in a medium to fast swinging tempo, a jazz pianist does not play full chords, i.e., he/she will play usually the 3rd and 7th notes only, omitting the "root" note altogether. The chords are played in "chops" to counterpoint the walking or swinging bass figures.

Cheers!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3958
Registered: Dec-03
Woofs a delighted woof. Wags tail.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 328
Registered: Nov-05
Hope the Apollo auditioning is going well John, I feel a new cdp may be joining the A family very soon:-)

Funny thing - both Mrs Rantz and I agreed, when playing Claire Martin's 'Too Darn Hot' SACD today, on (a) the Denon 2900 with 2 channel SACD selected, then (b) The NAD 542 with the HDCD layer, that the latter was the more preferable listening experience - more open, detailed and lush sounding with a better sense of timing - very surprising really. Both are connected to the C162/C272 combo with only difference being the more expensive Monster interconnect (NAD) and the standard Monster cable (Denon). This audio stuff is enough to send one into the twilight zone. This, of course, needs further investigation.

Larry,

I guess yourself and Mrs R won't be entertained by one of Ms Martin's pianists anytime soon if you aren't into those fast jazz 'chops' - Gareth Williams makes me sit in awe with his smooth and often lightning fast keyboard runs - I ain't heard 'chops' like it!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3959
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, My Rantz. Yes, the twilight zone. But, today, more like bright sunlight on new and uncharted territory.

I am now quite embarrassed by many of my opinions, posted previously on this forum.

Another serving of hat, please. With a side order of humble pie.

1. Yes, there is a big difference between CD players. "They are all reading 1s and 0s" is missing the point. I do not know which point, but there is definitely one being missed, there.

2. The CD is not a low-resolution medium.

I must have as a priority the avoidance of the even the slightest risk of embarrassment on the part of my good friends here; they will be quite unable, being civlized persons, to write such phrases as "Told you so, dude"

Let me offer the small smokescreen of a factoid. No, it is a fact, or so I hear on the radio.

This day, seventy years ago, saw the first flight of a Spitfire fighter aircraft.

So, out of solemn observance, I put on Walton's "Spitfire Prelude and Fugue", recently purchased on Naxos, as about my eighth Rega Apollo CD sample. Like all the rest, night and day. Well, twilight and day.

Many things are immediately noticeable. Like the tuba in the "Fugue". Before it was just part of a nice, bass, oomphing noise. Now it's a tuba.

This is merely a small example, and also missing the point.

So that's another missing point: elusive; but it has to be there, somewhere, if one looks hard enough.

I think it must have to do with music. There is more of it getting out.

As it were.

That is a figure of speech, of course. I'd better stop and give this whole question some more thought.

Before I go.

MR - if your brother has not committed, ask him to add the Apollo to his list. Really. It is quite something. Really. Superb sound. Really.

Rick - thanks for steadfastly recommending dedicated CD players.

Jan - Yes, two channels good. We'll have to consider four channels or more. I do not entirely concede defeat. More like run for shelter.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2833
Registered: Feb-05
John I'm glad you're enjoying that Rega. I had a chance to listen to it again and enjoyed it. Less harsh than the first time I heard it. I still preferred the Audio Refinement CD Complete Alpha, but just by a hair. If you get a chance give it a listen. They should be dealing on them soon as YBA is dropping the line to produce a new budget line with the YBA badge.

As I told MR on several occasions, even a mediocre dedicated cd player will usually outperform a good DVD or universal player on redbook playback.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1124
Registered: Oct-04
Don - looking back, in my first listen to the Evans dual album I'd gone far into the disc, mainly because I'd read somewhere that the second album was better. It was. Mer started auditioning from the first, and immediately did not like the first piece. I agreed, wondering what the difference was. Hmm. . .If I had to choose only one of the two albums on the disc I'd definitely choose the latter - much closer to another album "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" that I DO like - especially since it's been re-done in SACD format. Hope that clears up some of the mud. . .

So anyway, this ayem I put on the Evans CD again, and sorta clicked my way through all the tracks. I stand by my original comments for "Laura" "My Melancholy Baby" and "Getting Sentimental Over You," but those are on the second, not the first album. Aside from "Danny Boy," which one could not equate with "jazz," I dislike the "Empathy" album.

If you had either the CD in question or both of the Evans albums, you might better understand what I'm talking about? Did the change in bassist make a difference? I think so. But the second album is "smoother" than the first, as well. . . my very humble opinion, as usual.

BTW - I do like Evans' "live" albums better than his studio work. But then - I like Oscar Peterson and George Shearing much better than Evans, overall. Mer suggested that I add Dave Brubeck to the list, but I reminded her that I love the Brubeck Quartet for sax-man Paul Desmond - not for the often hash-handed Mr. Brubeck. Desmond will always be one of my idols.

Please take this from an "amateur" musician, who is surely not capable of reducing a score or performance to its roots, and then explaining each part!

Ah, My Rantz - sorry, I have yet to audition Claire Martin. I must - for then perhaps I can add some to the discussion. Will be trying to find an audition-point on Amazon or the likes later today.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1125
Registered: Oct-04
MR - OK - finally got to audition some Claire Martin on Amazon - BUT - could not access the Too Darned Hot album. Too bad, because I read where she's going back to more jazz-oriented music on this CD, versus her more pop/rock on other albums?

Anyway - dug into a half-dozen song-snippets - and must say that, as a vocal stylist, I like her very much. However, I wanted to hear more of the piano. Sorry to say, all I heard was very, very good accompanying, but no "solo flights" that I could hear. So - I cannot really comment on your assertions that Ms. Martin's piano-guy is stratospheric in nature.

BTW - her bassist gets a workout worthy of an Olympian! Whew!!!

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7739
Registered: May-04

"I love the Brubeck Quartet for sax-man Paul Desmond - not for the often hash-handed Mr. Brubeck. Desmond will always be one of my idols."


On that matter, at least, Larry, we agree 100%.




" ... even a mediocre dedicated cd player will usually outperform a good DVD or universal player on redbook playback."


At the risk of being perceived as overly blunt, which I would never wish to happen, that statement smacks of elitism.


I understand there is a qualifier in there in the form of "usually"; however, that is similar to suggesting analog will "usually outperfom" digital, or that separates will "usually sound better" than an integrated amlpifier. Art, I'd like a bit of claification on that concept, if you please. Why would that be true? On what properties would you judge this to "usually" be true? What qualities does any dedicated CD player possess which would inherently make it superior to a universal player or what, in the inverse, makes any universal player usually less able to perform up to the standards of a "mediocre" CD player?


For anyone thinking I am defending my choice of equipment, I don't think that is my issue here. I am deeply disappointed in the Denon 2900 I bought last year. Not for its performance, which I enjoy musically, but for the fact that SACD and DVD-A have all but disappeared from the disc selections I have. There are no "hi-rez" discs available in Dallas shops. More to the point, I have yet to find one employee of the record shops who doesn't look at me as if I have spoken to them in a foreign language when I ask where the SACD's are located. (My aversion to promoting the well being and existence of the "Big Net" web retailers with SACD's has been stated. I prefer to do business directly and with a hands on brick and mortar retailer who is at least employing the local yokals.) Therefore, my total time spent listening to any SACD disc in the past three months is less than 1% of my total time spent with music. I take responsibility for my purchase of the Denon as I am hardly an uninitiated child to the format wars. The Denon, in my estimation, offered more than adequate performance against the competition available to me for the price I wished to pay. Nor is price my issue. You pay what something is worth to you personally; and you are less than wise when you pay a higher price for something that provides what you consider to be less service or performance. I would, however, never suggest anyone go out with the purposeful intention of buying a universal player at this time. That isn't my problem, either. My problem, as I see it, stems from the fact there are more than a generous proportion of dedicated CD players which can at best be described as "mediocre" performers. To suggest they are in any way superior to a universal player, merely due to the catholic sympathies of another design, makes no sense to me.




Don - You've always been able to comment with intelligence on any discussion of jazz in this thread. What's your background with the genre? How did you learn some of these things? Do you teach them somewhere?



 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7740
Registered: May-04


John - Sorry, didn't mean to leave you out of the mix. But, you know how I detest lenghty posts.


I suppose other than the French, Austrians and Poles, there is no one more suited to writing a Prelude to the Spitfire than a Briton. At the risk of sounding unfair, was Walton able to evoke the horror of the event?


And, certainly there is no need to offer apologies nor dine upon one's chapeau, should you come around to realizing a new reality. It is when someone stubbornly holds on to discredited beliefs, especially those which were foretold to be inaccurate, that credibility in all matters falters. (How is Mr. Blair doing these days? There's very little of him in the US newspapers of late. More on Galloway, actually.) Congratulations are in order for the prudence to seek out new truths in the face of old prejudices. You're coming along, John A.


Four channels or ten, no one is suggesting taking flight, merely remaining under the safe, two pronged tent which has served us well in the past. At least until the bombs stop dropping.



My question now is; if you are seeking digital tubas which emulate real tubas, when are you going to try a bit of "touching up" to your CD's? You cannot hear the sound of a digital tuba and not think it could be more like the real thing, if only you had removed the layer of grunge between the digital tuba's 1's and 0's and the laser sent to retrieve them. Correct, Larry?


 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1126
Registered: Oct-04
Jan: Well, ur, that is, um, ah, heck - maybe U R write! And to follow up on your appreciated "agreement" on the good Mr. Desmond - I have to agree with you 100% on your assertion that stand-alone CD players may, or may NOT be any better than a given universal player.

I suffer from a major malady, as you all must know. I have a very, very hard time distinguishing one CD player, or receiver, or even speaker from another. I read with great interest all of the posts here on the Forum, and marvel at what must be the sensitivity of the ears involved in the testing that resulted in comments such as "warmer, fuller, wider, deeper, cleaner." Sigh. What's a poor OLE GUY to do?

I "think" I got Jan's attention in sending him some of my CD-glop. And "maybe" he's in my camp on the "cleaner is better sound" issue. . .or not?

And I DO know that getting rid of my horrible li'l JVC CD player made my life less shrill-filled. And I DO know that the NAD amp that I got from a forum-angel has warmed up my music to a certain extent.

But I continue to visit what passes for "high-end" audio dealers in the Swampville area - and for the life of me I cannot - CAN NOT - tell any difference between the CD players carrying price tags above, oh, the $300 USD level.

If/when the Yammie goes to CD player heaven or hell, I shall try out my good friend's recommended Harmon-Kardon DVD-47. I cannot find it anywhere around here to listen to in person. Sigh.

And now I'm getting deeper into SM's suggested "Exact Audio Copy" concept. The more I read the more I wonder - is the CD sound bad because of the basic design - or because there is a very real "read" problem where the pits and planes are not accurately detected by the laser?

Is that why some CDs sound "better" (sorry, Jan) than others? Do the small labels take better care in their pressings? And - does most of the listening public give a rat's patooty?

Ah, venting - relieves the soul of so much pressure! (grin)

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Don RX-1
Unregistered guest
Jan,

I play amateur jazz piano and guitar, with some electric bass thrown in between. I've had formal music lessons on both piano and guitar in the classical idiom. Two years ago, I decided to take formal lessons on jazz piano, after several years of playing it on my own and having reached a point where I couldn't go any further --- I was hearing harmonies and voicings that I couldn't figure out by myself. I knew I needed "professional help", hence, I enrolled in a music school.

I also plan to study the double bass to learn the technique of playing it. I can already play jazz bass lines, but only on the electric bass.

Thanks for asking. My teacher is Brian de Lima, a student of Barry Harris (http://www.barryharris.com), one of the few remaining jazz bebop legends. Brian plays in the same tradition as Bud Powell. He has just released his first independently produced CD called Inher Demons. The details can be found at http://www.briandelima.com/index2.html
Click on "Album" to hear MP3 samples.

Cheers,
Don
 

Don RX-1
Unregistered guest
Larry,

I agree with you re: Paul Desmond and The Brubeck Quartet. I don't have nor plan to buy any DB CD's without Mr. Desmond in it. It's just not the same.

Re: A Simple Matter of Conviction, agree with you, too. I don't like the Empathy album except for one track: I Believe In You. It always reminds me of the version I heard a long time ago by Jo Stafford and The Sandpipers (which I prefer but alas, can't find anywhere).

Ciao,
Don

P.S. Maybe we should revive the "Discoveries" thread again and post our new finds, recent CD's, re-discoveries, etc. etc.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7748
Registered: May-04


"I can already play jazz bass lines, but only on the electric bass."

I thought that's what your left hand was for.


There seems to be a world of difference between the young Mr. De Lima and the more experienced Mr. Harris. Whom do you favor in style?


 

Don RX-1
Unregistered guest
Re: jazz bass lines, yes, I can do that on the piano with my left hand, but what I meant to say was I wanted to learn how to play those same lines on the acoustic bass. The technique of playing is different and I know there's some learning curve on playing notes accurately on the fretless fingerboard.

I've heard little of Mr. Harris' playing style. I don't have his albums but I hear his work now and then on the local jazz station here. I hear more of Brian de Lima both in the classroom and on stage. And since I enjoy bebop, I would tend to prefer Brian's style.

 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 330
Registered: Nov-05
John,

Yes, my brother is aware of the Apollo, but has not been able to audition one in his city as yet. Still, I think he'll be more than happy with the Shanling once he stops second guessing. I am pleased the Apollo is to your liking - I thought it might be. It seems a great music revival will be taking place in the A household.

Larry,

You can listen to sample snippets at linnrecords.com of all Ms Martins albums. Pianist Gareth Williams plays on at least these two wonderful albums: 'Too Darn Hot' and 'Secret Love.' Unfortunately the time of the samples may not extend to hearing Williams really do his thing, but at least you may get a better idea of the music style.

As far as the universal player vs the stand alone player argument goes - all I can say is when comparing the Denon 2900 and the NAD 542 for redbook playback - I prefer the NAD. However, I think others may prefer the Denon. Both are very good imho but each has different qualities.

It's difficult to account for these hi-res formats insofar as where they are headed and so forth. SACD is still flourishing (albeit slowly) and DVD-A is popping up occassionally, but mostly making the odd appearance on DualDisc. The promotion of these formats by the record stores, the record companies and the audio shops has been nothing short of abyssmal. However, while I also prefer to deal on a personal level, I am not about to restrict catering to my tastes when I can't get satisfaction locally. Thank goodness for the internet music sales companies, they certainly get my support at present.

Don

I am envious of your talents :-)

 

Don RX-1
Unregistered guest
Larry, "...is the CD sound bad because of the basic design - or because there is a very real "read" problem where the pits and planes are not accurately detected by the laser?",

I think there's hope, an expensive one at that, in John's initial impressions of the Apollo. Sounds like this player reads "1's" and "0's" more accurately? Or more thoroughly? Or just plain differently?

The authorized Rega dealers here in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) are few and far between, but I would like to audition this new "toy" one of these days.

2C, thanks for your post on XRCD. I haven't seen it in stores here. But I'm pretty sure it would be expensive, too.

MR, Someone up there has been very kind to me all these years. I can't ask for more.

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3960
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, all, for comments on the Rega. Yes, it will stay, no question. I'll try to write some more about it.

As regards CD-only players, Art, there are some bad ones around, too. However, it does seem reasonable that a good design and manufacture to a given price will give better replay of CD on a CD-only machine than on a universal player.

Jan, "Spitfire Prelude and Fugue" was written as film music in 1942. The suite is a short orchestral showpiece, and not to be taken too seriously, I think. I was not around at the time of the film, of course, but there was then a national appetite for morale-boosters, which I can understand. There is also the historical angle; the competing bids for air supremacy over the English Channel and North Sea, in late summer 1940, and much depended on the outcome. You will know the Churchill quote. I'll play Richard Strauss's Metamorphosen or similar, for balance. And keep plugging Vaughan William's settings of Walt Whitman, too, altogether more serious and enlightening, in my view. Like Shostakovich, but with words. Let me also commend to you Britten's War Requiem.

Hey, returning to the "war" of formats - the guy in the dealer made the same point that you do, Jan. They stock "No to DVD-A" Linn and "no to SACD" Arcam and Naim, but stocks of both sorts of discs seem to be getting smaller. What do they advise their customers...? It seems to me that SACD is still growing in the niche market of independent classical labels, but it is not clear that even Sony is pushing hard for SACD any more, and all the discs are hybrids. Let me suggest that these might go down in history like the handful of Quadraphonic LPs that also play in stereo, that people have in their collections, from the 1970s.

The guy in the shop also said that DG is now pressing LPs, again. I have not heard that, myself, anywhere else.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 331
Registered: Nov-05
Congratulations John! From what I have heard I thought the Apollo might tickle your fancy. I still can't find how much they'll cost here but I assume it will be similar to that of the Planet or a bit more. I would like to have had that sort of budget for a stand alone cdp but, I am very happy with the 542, especially for around a third of the price of the Planet.

Many, many LP's are being pressed and many new albums are being put on vinyl also (see acousticsounds.com for reference), but the convenience and a renewed appreciation (also) of the CD will, I think, prevent a T/T appearing in the Rantz household anytime soon.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3962
Registered: Dec-03
MR, I think I remember you said your brother did not fancy a top-loader.

Mrs A said "is that weird thing on the top, in the middle, where you put the CD...?" She also points out it will not go in a rack. And looks like another spare part from a museum of steam locomotives.

Personally, I like it. I never took to those trays.

Here is another trivial point: you can actually switch the Apollo off. Major new technology! Not so with the NADs, which have "on" and "standby" - in both modes they interfere with my FM radio reception. To get rid of that, I have to grovel around at the back of the cabinet and pull the plug.

You can also switch off the Apollo's display, and listen in the dark. Except for the gentle blue glow of wisdom from the amp, of course.

Anyway, the sound...

Sorry, temporarily lost for words.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3963
Registered: Dec-03
MR,

Posts crossed.

Retail here is £498.

Australian distributor http://www.synergyaudio.com/
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 332
Registered: Nov-05
John, yes a top loader wasn't his preferred choice for his rack set up. As far looks - I like the Rega's design with even the best disc trays are a distaster waiting to happen (especially for those with kiddies).

And you are wrong about the NAD's - at least with the 542 (I had to go and try it) the face button does, in fact, turn the player completely off.

"gentle blue glow of wisdom" - sheesh, I love that one John :-)
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 333
Registered: Nov-05
Rega Apollo UK = £498

Aussie conversion = $1175

Rega Apollo Aus = $1500

(http://www.carltonaudiovisual.com.au/?q=node/view/689)

The point: Once again, we Aussies get ripped off!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3964
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, My Rantz.

Yes, it is the two NAD DVD players I have owned that will not switch off; I should have specified. Perhaps that's in the nature of DVD players. NAD CD players are seriously rated on this forum. I am sure they are designed with audio in mind. I remember warnings about interference with radio in the manual of my first CD player, a Marantz. You could switch that off, too. Perhaps designers have to decide between no FM interference and permanent standby. Having everything always under remote control might win for DVD, in the designers' view. While sound and freedom from interference might win for CD.

In any event, I have never been happy, for several reasons, with modern electronics units being permanently on. That's me; obviously other people like it.

I think "gentle blue glow of wisdom" may be Jan's or Rick's phrase, from "Tube Talk".

Sorry to hear about the price differential. I used to feel so bad about that, myself, before we moved back to UK. Transport costs for even a heavy CD player cannot account for Aus$ 375. There may be a tax factor, plus a distributor's cut; I think Rega does its own distribution here, in its home market. I am sure it will work the other way for Aussie-made stuff bought here.

By the way, the Apollo manual says:

To the best of our understanding, there have only ever been five large multinational companies with the technology and knowledge base to develop the remarkably complex operating software for CD players. Development of this software and chip-sets to operate CD transports was generally curtailed around eight to ten years ago. All development effort was directed towards the design of DVD players and other advanced formats. Rega and other specialist Hi Fi manufacturers were totally reliant on companies like Sony and Phillips to supply transports and their operating chip-sets. In 2003 Sony stopped supply and sent the specialist Hi Fi industry into a flurry of activity in search of feasible alternatives.

Spin, or fact...?

Maybe Rega is touting for trade to supply transports and chip-sets to other makers. They deserve a hearing. The Apollo sounds blo*dy marvellous.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 334
Registered: Nov-05
Thanks John,

Yes I had read that about the transport and software issues - probably when I read the Apollo data a while back. Spin or fact - most likely the latter, but I wouldn't know.

I can certainly tell how you feel about the Apollo - great stuff. It's really good to feel that way about an acquisition - especially in audio.

About the exchange rates -funny how the Shanling T80 is about the same dollars here as the US? I know there will be some extra taxes etc and frieght, but I still think the Aus distributors have a go at us most of the time.

Happy listening mate!
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3966
Registered: Dec-03
Cheers, mate!

My conscience tells me I should find "Twilight of the CD" and make a post along the lines of "Sorry, chaps; matter of fact, had a bit of a change of tack...."

Enough to buckle me trunions.

"Best animated feature film". Cracking.

BTW In pictures: Spitfire re-enactment.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 335
Registered: Nov-05
John,

Sent you an email re Spitfires (parental guidance recommended).

MR
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 722
Registered: Feb-04
John A.,

Congrats on your new cdp. I've read great things about the Apollo. Been looking to replace my 10+ year old cdp also, but can't get over the dilemma of buying a high-quality player for a medium that may not last that much longer.

The xrcd disc I picked up shows how good cds can be. I'm sure getting a quality player takes the format to another level.

Don,

I found a copy of Bill Evans at Montreux (on vinyl). I'm listening to right now and am surprised by the change in Evans' style compared to his recording with LaFaro. Gomez is definitely a flashier, more outgoing bassist than LaFaro. He seems to bring Evans out of his introverted shell. (Even the Swiss crowd sounds un-Swiss-like in their enthusiasm.) I'm not sure what Larry means by "chops", but some of Evans playing on this album reminds me of the angular style of Monk. Monk was the master of chops in my book.

My recent personal jazz piano discovery is Sonny Clark. Just listened to the elegant bop stylings of "Cool Struttin'". Unfortunately his life was cut short by drugs and left a short discography, which I'm anxious to explore.
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 723
Registered: Feb-04
"The guy in the shop also said that DG is now pressing LPs, again."

I hope this is true, but the only new classical recording on vinyl I've heard of is an Anna Netrebko album (on DG). Most new classical vinyl albums are actually reissues and expensive at that. Used classical LPs are plentiful and cheap around here.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1127
Registered: Oct-04
2C & All: I believe the first person to use the word "chop" in reference to Mr. Evans' playing was Mer, who disliked what she called the "chop, chop" sound that his left hand made as he did rather staccato chords on certain tracks. She disliked it because she's used, she said, to more "cohesive jazz." I'll have to ask her just what she means when she returns from teaching mopes how to turn mud into art. . .

John A. - I'm fascinated by your fascination with the apparently fascinating new CD player! You say the sound is much better - so now I ask, as I have so many times: in what way is it "better?" I still have a most difficult time delineating one CD player from another, so I'm trying very hard to get a handle on all this. . .

Verne - my recording engineer-friend out in LA - continues to scold me for my inability to hear the differences that he (claims that he) hears when going A-B between CD players. He still claims the Harman-Kardon will "open my mind" when/if I ever hear the darned thing. . .

I'm just worried that, should I get the unit, I might be disappointed. Plus, after reading the likes of John A. and his new wonder-player, I ask: "can a player costing a mere $375 USD hold a candle to the likes of Rega Apollo?" I'm sure - not - UNLESS Jan V. is correct, and that there is not as much difference between some dedicated players and universal ones. Hmm. . .tinking 'bout dat a lot.

Respectfully. . . LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1128
Registered: Oct-04
John A. et al: In the interest of learning, I scurried about on the Internet, and came upon many reviews of your wunnerful new machine. To back up your claims, I add this link. http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/digital/messages/113988.html

Interesting - so much so that I wonder if the HK could ever "best" this unit. Most likely not.

One thing did catch my eye, however - it would seem that the Apollo takes some time to "adjust to the disc." Hmm - that's one of the things that drives me crazy with the Yamaha: it takes 18 seconds from disc insertion to start of play. I count them every time! (grin)

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1129
Registered: Oct-04
Jan V - the disc's in the mail. Two of them, in fact. Decided, as you're frustrated by lack of SACD, to include the Evans "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" SACD (a hybrid, playable on all machines) to round out your collection. With Mer's aversion to the Evans style, we'd probably seldom play it, anyway. . .

Hope you enjoyl . . LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7751
Registered: May-04


Thanks, Larry. My Cocker Spaniel, Buck, and I will be waiting at the door for the post to arrive. Buck has no opinion on Evan's style, but likes the way LaFaro's playing makes the floor vibrate on his tummy when he's at my feet. To each his own, I suppose.


To clarify something you're pondering, Larry.
" ... UNLESS Jan V. is correct, and that there is not as much difference between some dedicated players and universal ones." I'm interested in why anyone would assume " ... even a mediocre dedicated cd player will usually outperform a good DVD or universal player on redbook playback." I can see no reason for this asssumption. In my book "good" trumps "mediocre" and there is no reason for a well designed universal player to not perform successfully on Redbook CD. That some universal players are not successful at the relatively simple task of CD playback is not questioned. Lots of companies turn out lots of junk and they assume no one will be the wiser. But the idea that a "good" universal player should automatically be bettered by the mere omission of a few parts doesn't make sense to me. The simple technical requirements for DVD playback assume more sophisticated parts and circuit design. Since many of the functions of either CD or DVD playback are performed by large scale IC's (and the Sony based SACD chips are, to my knowledge, all essentially the same), the availability of the better chips should not be a limiting factor. A "mediocre" CD player will typically use "mediocre" parts. Consider what it takes to make a "good" universal player. As the Rega blurb suggests, it is a fact many companies which had been producing CD transports have ceased production on such devices and shifted to computer and DVD transports only. This has left the CD transport end of technology relatively flat over the last half dozen or so years. This would indicate a generally higher level of sophistication in the requirements and implementation of DVD transports has taken their place. Over the years, the quality of the transport and how it retrieves the pits and flats to pass them along with minimal jitter has been generally regarded as an initial indicator of whether a company has spent some effort on getting things right. Cheap DVD transports proliferate to fill the "need" for a $29 player, but these do not typically get placed in "good" universal players. A "better" player is a "better" player, but not just because it lacks a specific logo on the front panel. I am simply interested in how someone reaches the conclusion that a mediocre CD player is the more prudent choice.





 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3968
Registered: Dec-03
You say the sound is much better - so now I ask, as I have so many times: in what way is it "better?"

I'll be back, on this, I promise.

One thing that made me think of getting a new CD player was the obvious superiority of the sound of Cds played on whatever the BBC uses, and then relaid over FM radio - as compared with the direct play on the NAD T533 DVD player. With the Rega Apollo, I am miles ahead of what comes out of FM reception.

There is just more to hear, and listen to, there in the music. Instruments are more like themselves, and more easily resolved within the overall sound.

Also, I am more aware of dynamics, and phrasing, and where the individual sound sources are in relation to each other.

This is attempted analysis, and it is not easy to write "thrilling", but that is the overall effect, for whatever reason.

I am into a working week, now, but will try to describe the effect some more, in due course.

I did not audition the Arcam CD73 or other players of comparable price. I can just attest that the Apollo sounds wonderful.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1130
Registered: Oct-04
Jan V. - all points well taken, sir.

John A. - yep - I get much "better" sound out of my FM than I do from my Yammie player. Don't ask me to define "better" - but it is more natural and much less shrill than I get from my admittedly limited-quality CD player.

The more I read the more I realize my limitations on ability to retain sound quality between players or discs or amps or speakers. Sigh.

I give up. . . LarryR
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 337
Registered: Nov-05
Larry

'cuse me for buttin' in, but if you haven't already, try a digital cable (coax or toslink) from your Yammie to the NAD and see if the receiver's DAC's make any difference. Although there are other things in the mix to make good cd sound, this may be of some benefit if the NAD's DAC's are a better quality. Unfortunately this won't work with SACD's so you'll need to retain your analogue cables. Just a thought.
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2837
Registered: Feb-05
"As regards CD-only players, Art, there are some bad ones around"

Yes I know John, I've been around the audio block. That's why I specifically stated mediocre not bad. I've heard some Sony's that I was sure could be used to peel paint from walls.

Congrats on your new Rega. It's fun to listen to so much of your music in a new light. My remodel is nearing it's end and I set the system up again last night just before bed. I've missed it and can't wait to listen to the new music I bought last weekend. Next weekend should be great!

Larry, I'm pretty sure if you put a good dedicated player in your system and gave it some time you would hear the difference. It would probably happen when you quit listening for it. You know how that goes.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1131
Registered: Oct-04
MR - yeah, my friend - I've got a digital cable in place, as well as the SACD cables. The NAD DACs seem very good - but in A-B comparisons, I don't find the NAD guts any better than the Yammie's. Then again - as I've posted too often - my hearing precudes my determining a "winner" in most cases. Sigh.

I'm looking for differences that rise up and bite me in the nose - and those I cannot find. Jan has told me, on good authority, that my room acoustics, well, basically stink. Hmm. . .those I'm trying to "tweak," but with limited success and change, I'm afraid.

And BTW - you certainly can "butt in" any ole time yew want!! Heck - it's open forum, and I've got this big circular target on my chest. . .

Still trying to decypher Jan's posting above - but from what I think he says - he's all for ANY player that has good quality innards. Period. Wellllll, I guess that John A. thinks his Rega has good quality innards - so, does that put it in Jan's "accepted" lineup? Waiting. . . .

Went a-shopping today for SACDs at our local emporium of total despair - AKA Barnes & Noble. Sigh. The sales children there are simply over their heads - and think that 5-year old hip-hop qualifies as "classical" music. . .urp.

I finally found 10, count them 10 SACDs in the classical section - and not one of the four sales-kids even knew what they were! Yep. . .signs of the times.

And to make my blood boil even harder - did any of you note the song that won the Oscar? I mean - pardon - "song?" They had to clean it up to preent it on TV, fer Mort's sake! What the H is this country coming (down) to? Remember the wunnerful character in the movie who urged everybody to get up and yell: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!" Uh - - where's Kegger when we need him mostest. . . .

Sigh. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1132
Registered: Oct-04
Art - U were posting as I was posting as U were posting as. . .so. . .

Yes, a dedicated player of substance would surely help my sagging sound situation - BUT - I now have 45 SACDs and I think 200 CDs - with that ratio in mind, a dedicated CD player would not be practical. Unless, of course, I have another player for SACD/DVD. Sigh.

My friend, Verne, in LA posted an e-mail to me tonight, suggesting very strongly that I wait a month or so on the HK DVD-47 - which I'd be doing, anyway. He says that there will be a "modification" in the assembly line shortly. How he knows this, well, who knows. . .

I asked him about John A's Rega - and all he said was "to each his own." Guess that's damning with faint praise? But then - he's in California, and can't be held responsible for all of his actions! (grin)

I'm glad you're getting your sound back up and running. I know what it's like to be mute. . .not a pretty picture, audio-wise!

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 338
Registered: Nov-05
Larry,

Yeah, I agree about the Oscar thing (yeah not a song, a crude cacophony) - we all should be Howard Beales (Peter Finch)!

Okay I should have known you tried the digital cable, But please don't go cutting out the tweeters on the 705's - please :-)

Art,

Glad you're back in music mode. My home needs attention also. I keep putting it off, but the time for action is fast approaching :-(
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 726
Registered: Feb-04
Hello, Old Dogs.

Just dropping in to say I LOVE MY STEREO :-)

Spent an evening listening to music after a stressful day at work. First, it was Mahler, then Mozart, and finally Beethoven. All analog recordings. My heart went all a flutter as a single flute rose above the orchestra in the Mozart symphony and it sounded so delicate and lovely (not strident and edgy at all). Yes, my stereo delivers music that can enrapture. That's all I ask of it.

Good night and happy dreams all.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3970
Registered: Dec-03
As they say in California, I believe, "I can relate to that", Two Cents!

I tried my EMI Rattle/BPO Mahler 5 DVD-A a while ago in two channel. The sound was artificial; little natural reverb; sounded ghostly in some way. Then I tried the "el cheapo" Naxos Polish National Radio Symphony orchestra CD. Much better. Gorgeous sound; natural; each instrument in its natural tones and colours. Great balance. Like being there. And on the Apollo. Ah... That little pizzicato section in the third movement; you can hear natural echos of each little "plink" and "plonk", no matter how quietly they play.

I wrote a post that would not post (as it were) and so I saved it. Here it is.....

Thanks, all.

Another small point about the Rega is the supplied patch cable. "Satisfactory" is their word. I think that is, correct, and probably because it is short. The dealer offered me Chord interconnects for a mere £80. I have couple of unbranded but short (1 m) interconnects which are thick, well screened, and have quality plugs. They do not make a noticeable difference compared with the cable "out of the box".

Our TV/DVD player/DT receiver now supplies the amp through a 10 m patch cable, which does seem to degrade the sound somewhat. I wonder how long a patch cable needs to be before it intrudes. 1.5 m, OK; 10 m, not.

I've made this move partly through space requirements, but I am happier with the amp, CD player and FM tuner all together, connected to each other by short cables, and way down the room from the TV, which is between the speakers. I always liked having the sources and amp miles from the speakers. I fancy I have improved the overall sound at realistic listening levels from moving the amp, too - could this be decreased "microphonics"? New speaker cables; flat, 14 AWG, 50', Radio Shack (used to be "Tandy" - didn't know that, before). No audible difference between the new speaker cables and the shorter ones of similar gauge, even though the latter were just beginning to get nicely run-in after 27 years of use.... (smiley)
 

Gold Member
Username: Rick_b

Orlando, FL

Post Number: 1324
Registered: Dec-03
Congrats on your Rega John. I wish you many hours of listening bliss.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7761
Registered: May-04
"Larry, I'm pretty sure if you put a good dedicated player in your system and gave it some time you would hear the difference."


Glad to see there is no longer a recommendation for a "mediocre" product.


Would anyone care to take up my question as to why a universal player of decent quality shouldn't perform well on Redbook CD? This is not a challenge to anyone's equipment or ideas, but a simple question that reflects how the industry we choose to support operates. Why would a manufacturer produce a universal player that isn't up to snuff on CD's? This is not like choosing between two and four wheel drive. What would be the motivation for a manufacturer to make such a device and what would they do to the player to make Art's statement more than mere speculation. Without trying to put anyone on the spot, do most of you believe a mediocre to good dedicated player will automatically perform better on Redbook CD than a good universal player?



 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1133
Registered: Oct-04
MR - promise, sir - no "tweetectomy!" But perhaps I was in the forefront of the "single-driver" revolution when I deducted the tweeters from my surround speakers. Isn't SM one of the people now studying the single-driver speakers that seem to be proliferating on some web sites? Hmm. . .nothing like being "first," I say. . .(grin)

Jan V. - as you know, I do not possess the tech knowledge that you, and most of the other forum Dogs, possess. However - it would seem to me that if a company focuses on just one "stream" in a CD player they might have a higher-quality product. In the universal players, attention must be paid to the DACs for the SACDs, as well as the digital stream for DVD and CD.

My logic may not hold up, but say a company has $500 USD to put into a player. If they put ALL of the money into just one stream, it would make sense that the single-use player might well be, uh, "better" than a $500 unit having all elements of playback forms to contend with.

On the other hand, it would make no sense to me for a reputable company to skimp on ANY portion of the players. How much more does it cost to equip a player for SACD/DVD-A/DVD/CD than CD alone? I'd like to know that. . .

As I say, I ponder this as a non-tech-oriented guy, and thus will probably get a reasoned, tech-oriented answer from somebody. . .

And Jan - I look forward to your report on the Evans discs - and your perception of sonic differences (if any) between the CD and the SACD.

Another track - anyone heard from SimplyMcIntosh lately? She seems to have fallen through the audio cracks somehow - probably deeply immersed in her latest audio setup. . .

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2839
Registered: Feb-05
"Glad to see there is no longer a recommendation for a "mediocre" product"

Jan, that wasn't a recommendation just a statement.

Larry, did you see the movie "Hustle & Flow". I'm not a hip hop fan nor do I think it should have won the Oscar, but it was interesting and fun to feel like a part of the creative process from which some hip hop flows. It was an interesting movie that helped shed light on a part of our culture that is seen by us older folks as fringe but is quickly becoming mainstream.

Barnes & Noble, Borders, and all of the rest of those chains are truly sad. Everytime I go to one of those stores the classical and jazz sections gets smaller and smaller. I'm fortunate in that I have a great locally owned classical store in Eugene, Oregon "The Musique Gourmet" that provides excellent selection, a monthly newsletter to regulars like me and unbelieveable prices. Most importantly it offers the expertise of Don Lambden the proprietor and sole employee. He is independently comfortable and is not in the business to get rich instead he just wants to break even and provide a place for classical music lovers to get their fix. Portland also has the "Classical Millenium", fantastic selection but no Don Lambden. Last year we lost a great jazz specialty store "The Cat's Meow" to what the owner stated was the internet. Hw too was independently comfortable but couldn't make ends meet. Ahhh welll! There are still some very good places to buy jazz but no true specialty stores nearby.

"What would be the motivation for a manufacturer to make such a device and what would they do to the player to make Art's statement more than mere speculation."

Motivation = money = buy both players.

What they do I don't know, I just know that my personal experience with sub 2k universals is that they don't measure up to most $500 dedicated cd players for redbook playback. I suspect greed has something to do with it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1134
Registered: Oct-04
John A. - (forgot to post this above) You seem so sure of the major sonic differences in your new Rega! I'd like very much to have such an epiphany, sir! The closest I've come to that was when I was able to compare my old and tinny JVC unit with a high-priced Marantz. That was revelatory, though I could not afford the Marantz.

As I've said, I have no local store in which to audition the Apollo - or the Harman-Kardon, for that matter. I would like few things better than to be able to say: "wow - this Brand X player is light-years ahead of the Yammie!" Yep. That would be GOOD. . .

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7762
Registered: May-04


Larry - If you're curious, my opinion of the Rega products puts them at the top of the heap. That is, if you know what you are buying from Rega. Rega's Roy Gandy has some particular ideas regarding audio and as long as what he designs into his products agrees with what suits your own taste, it is difficult to top Rega without usually spending large amounts more money for diminishing returns. If those returns are important to you and you have the expendable cash or you can find a US made product which suits your tastes also (a VPI turntable for example against a Rega), then you might choose to supercede Rega on your list of products to audition. This is hardly a knock on Rega as most top flight companies get to that position with a signature sound and just buying a name doesn't assure you of a satisfying system.




When I bought the Denon it came down to a choice between the Rega and the 2900. Each was available from a different dealer with whom I had done business (and had worked for one of the shops). Obviously my opinion of both decks was favorable and it came down, unfortunately, to a monetary decision that made the selection. To be fair, the Denon was on a close out sale so there was some discount available there. However, most inportantly, the Rega had just suffered through another devaluation of the US Dollar to British Sterling and had jumped in price slightly more than 25% since I last considered the Rega. The devaluation of the Dollar was as much as hingepin in my decision as the universality of the Denon. Also, I had long ago set a mark of $1k as the top price I would pay for a digital player that has, in all my past experiences, ended up in the trash when they needed repair. And, they all needed repair far too soon in my estimation. In hindsight, had I to do it over with the two players at the same price and the value of the Dollar wasn't gouging me, I would choose the Rega and stick to a cheap Sony SACD for the few discs I've acquired which now appear to be all I will ever own of that ilk.


 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1135
Registered: Oct-04
Jan V. - sooooo - we're both stuck with players that we bought for economic reasons - and are less than satisfied with? Story of audio, ain' it? Yep.

And the "sound" of a unit has crept back into the discussion. What the heck does a Rega "sound like?" Are you referring to John A's glowing report on his Rega's "sound?"

Art - so happy for you to have those stores! Naples is, I'm afraid - all money and very little class. . .

And nope - I haven't seen the movie. I'll let it go at that.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7763
Registered: May-04

No sir, I'm not dissatisfied with the Denon. I heard many of the same qualities from both the 2900 and the Rega player that was current at the time. I have no complaints about how the Denon operates nor how it reproduces music. I consider the unit itself to be a real bargain and a value, something I don't often see together when it comes to audio equipment. Are there better players? I'm certain there are. But not in my price range and not for what I wanted from a player at the time.


I am dissatisfied with an industry that cannot keep from shooting itself in the foot. How many times will they try to recycle the same old stuff and then abandon it when no one says they want it due to lack of promotion from the industry? How many times will they dampen any enthusiasm for a product by their incessant squabbling over copyright protections that, in the end, only foul the experience of the consumer? SACD and DVD-A have to be considered one of the music industry's truly great failures. Anyone disagree?


 

milpai
Unregistered guest
W.r.t the general public the SACD has been a thorough failure - agreed. But as an audiophile format it has gained ground over the past 1 1/2 years. There are many new releases that frequently come out and the sound quality is good to outstanding.
With the HD-DVD and Blu-Ray coming out, SACD is the only true DSD medium that the audiophiles/music-enthusiasts will stick to. But again - it is a niche market.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 339
Registered: Nov-05
I have to agree with milpai, every month quite a few new SACD's are released, but it is a niche market. Even Sony, who it was believed to be dropping SACD have changed their mind and have/are producing some new titles this year. I also agree with Jan that as far as a general consumer product goes they (hi-res formats) have been a failure. As quality sound formats (and here we get into preferences) I think they are a great success.

When I replaced my cd changer with the Marantz CC-4300 I was amazed, for its price, at its reproduction quality and considered it a tad better than the 2900 for redbook playback. The NAD 542 trumps both players imho for CD's and now, when listening to the CC4300 I find it a little edgy whereas, the Denon still sounds very smooth, though a little lacking in detail with the upper registers imho. The NAD at $699AU is not necessarilly a better cd player than the Denon 2900 at $1999 just different enough for people's preferences. I also believe the Denons are great value as they perform very well with various music formats as well as having excellent video reproduction qualities. So, to sum up, I can concede that good stand alone cd players may well best good universal players with redbook playback, but I think it would take spending at least half the price of a decent universal on the cdp to do so to in a way that most ears would agree.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 340
Registered: Nov-05
And what Larry said - where are you Ms McIntosh? And Kegger come on back also!
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 356
Registered: Jan-05
Good evening, gentlemen. For the past couple of weeks, I stepped away from reading about audio to do some music listening. My listening has mostly been jazz, of which, Horace Silver's album "Songs for My Father" has become a favorite of mine. Other purchases made in the past week:

Dave Brubeck "Time Out" - Excellent (with Paul Desmond)

Lee Morgan "The Sidewinder" - a funkier take on jazz but I love it

Eric Dolphy - "Out to Lunch" - from what I gather, this is "avant-garde jazz" - I've only listened to it once all the way through but it didn't grab me the way the others did Still, given that I'm a fan of Davis' B itches Brew, I suspect I'll hear this one in a different way when the right "mood" hits me. Or mood enhancers....

Madeleine Peyroux - "Careless Love" - after the Horace Silver album, this is my next favorite discovery. I remember Don mentioning her awhile ago so I bought this on impulse when in the record store (brick and mortar!) a couple of days ago. It is excellent! It's hard to describe but her voice is reminiscent of Billie Holiday while still retaining her own personality and style. Musically, it is jazz with a folk-tinge to it. Excellent song selection, magnificent performance, high quality, simple, straight forward recording. Highly recommended.

In addition to listening to jazz, I've also filled my Netflix queue with the Ken Burns Jazz series - starting with disc 7 (1940 -1945). I should probably start at the beginning but my main interest is starting with the bebop period and moving forward. I'm also reading a book about Chet Baker. Man, what a messed up man! And, apparently, ALL the jazz musicians of that era were heroin junkies at some point in their lives.

Congratulations on the new Apollo, John! I'm glad you are enjoying it.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7764
Registered: May-04


Not to disagree, Rantz, because we apparently listen with different ears; but the NAD 542 was my entry level at the shop with the Rega Planet and the Rega was far superior to my tastes. As I said, I heard much more similarity between the Rega and the Denon than any other two decks I had available to me, which wasn't much. However, try as I might, I cannot get my ears to accept what other people call NAD's musicality.


I picked up a copy of HiFi+ at the magazine shop today. Didn't buy it since the CD player review was the only article I was interested in reading. Cruising quickly through the review of the new Rega, a new HK and a new Philips deck, the Rega got a good review and the HK was lauded as exceptionally musical. Both, naturally, were touted as giving the higher priced models a new target to aim at.


 

Gold Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 2841
Registered: Feb-05
SM, I have all of the albums you mentioned and love'em. I had the privelege of meeting Ms Peyroux at the Mt Hood Jazz festival a couple of years ago when she was touring just prior to the Careless Love release. I like "Dreamland" even more.
 

Don____RX-1
Unregistered guest
2C - I'm sure you've also noticed (heard) that Gomez plays his solos usually on the upper register, sometimes at an incredible speed. The higher notes result in a more lyrical solo not usually expected from a bassist. Yet, Gomez projects the same fat, solid tone from his bass as did Scott LaFaro.

If you get a chance, try also Gomez's session recordings with Chick Corea: Three Quartets and Mad Hatter (there's more). "Three Quartets" also features Steve Gadd, one of the finest drummers in late modern jazz history, IMO.

"Mad Hatter" is a concept album and may take some getting used to. Some of the tracks may sound tuneless to the uninitiated. Chopin's Bartok influence is evident in this album. The highlight is Humpty Dumpty which features an exhilarating acoustic piano solo by Corea and an equally fabulous solo by Gomez.

SM - you're right about Madeleine Peyroux. She evokes a wonderful hint of Billie Holiday. Heard her on the car radio the first time and didn't think twice about buying one of her CD's.

 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 357
Registered: Jan-05
Don,

I bought the Madeleine Peyroux Cd without ever having heard her. When I came across her section while browsing through the jazz CD's, I thought of you and decided to see what she's all about. Thanks for making the recommendation. See how much influence you have? :-)


BTW, I know I owe you (and some others) a couple of email responses. I'm sorry for my lack of attention. I will get caught up soon. :-)


Art,

The great thing about those albums is I just sat and listened to them, fully enjoying the music and not thinking about my system. Instead, I found myself thinking about learning to play an instrument. This isn't really a new thought but I have now been spurred into action researching a good keyboard to use for lessons.

Oh yeah....most of you jazz fans probably know this but the Rudy Van Gelder edition of these CD's are 24-bit remasters and they sound excellent.

Jan,

I would think that the mid-fi universal players such as the Denon would be comparable in redbook abilities to mid-fi CDP. But, it seems the entry level universal players would have to skimp on some features to be cost effective.

When I did a NAD/Denon CDP comparison awhile back, to my ears, they were very close. I ended up using the Denon because I wanted only one player in the system and needed the universal capabilities. Now, the Denon is in the HT and the NAD is the main CDP.

As y'all know, I've been considering an equipment change the last month or so and I believe the reason is dissatisfaction with the CDP. So, a modded Squeezebox is likely in my future, as like 2C, I don't want to spend money on equipment when the future of the CD is questionable. However, like Rantz, I don't think I'll plunge back into vinyl....unless the Squeezebox thing doesn't work out as hoped. Even then I might have to consider an Apollo over a TT :-)

BTW, I have my name on a list to get the Horn Shoppe Horns. And, I remain fascinated by SET. I'm hoping to be able to get a FiX 2A3 on loan to hear for myself what it's all about.


 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1136
Registered: Oct-04
MR et al - sigh - I hope this posting gets on the Forum. I've tried for a long time now, and just can't get it to "take" my stuff. Plus, it's been starting up verrry slowly. And I've got hi-speed cable I-net service. Hmm. . .

Anyway - I realize that SACD is a niche market - but I happen to be in the middle of the niche - Classical. Thus, I continue to buy the darned thangs because most of the performances are grand, and the sound likewise. Should SACD die - well, so be it.

As to CD being killed off - not in the near future, for sure. I doubt that Blu-ray will be focusing on music at first - mostly video. And at my advancing age, I probably won't live to see Blu-ray in every listening room.

Plus - I see music being shifted into "solid state" chips or the like - such as the wonderful little flash memory units on which I store my computer backups, and even some of my oft-listened-to tunes!

Jan V. - re the HiFi mag reviews of HK - was it the DVD-47 they reviewed? Probably, as it's the only one in their new lineup that plays all forms, including SACD. From your brief comment, it would seem that the reviewer mirrors my friend Verne's reaction to it: very musical and smooth. Sounds good to me. . .

As I've had a hard time posting - a bit of catch-up on my part. Reading about the "really off" position for NAD CD players . . . don't know if they're the same as the receivers, but my NAD has a liddle black button on the back - barely noticeable - that, when pushed, completely turns off the unit, without having to unplug it. I use it when we're out of town for a spell. . .

SM - glad to read your posts again - sounds like you're on to another Grand Adventure!

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1137
Registered: Oct-04
Rantz et al: In checking back, I see that another of my postings did not "take." To repeat, briefly. . .

After your hints re digital cable from CD player to NAD, I sat me down for a bit of testing. PUt on four CDs that I know very well (one at a time, natch! GRIN)

In my A-B comparison session, I found that perhaps my original assessment was not quite accurate, for it seemed to me that the digital cable was a tad smoother than playback using the Yammie's DACs. Now that is to say that there was no "earth-shattering" difference - but I'm re-thinking my RedBook playback, and may go with the NAD from now on. Then again - my old ears may be playing tricks on me (again). Sigh. . .

LR
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7772
Registered: May-04

The forum has been quite frustrating in its performance the last few days.

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/updates/47093.html


As I said, we all hear different qualities which speake to our desires or leave us flat. If that weren't true, there would only be a few companies making this stuff.




I don't think I can place a position where a universal can be outdone by a dedicated player merely looking at price. It is a balancing act of designing for a performance goal. Certainly having only one target makes the task fat more easily accomplished. If your goal, however, is to do well in the video performance of a DVD/Universal player, you'll probably scrimp on the CD audio. But, while video eats up lots of bits and bytes in its own chips, and lots of power supply regulation, the addition of video to a player is fairly inconsequential to the cost as we get above $500. Unless, of course, the company really wants to dominate the field in terms of video performance. However, it would appear most Universal players which have excellent video capabilities are being produced by companies which assume the buyer is also wanting something more than mediocre audio playback. In a $1k universal, the cost of a top notch Burr Brown (or whichever is the hot chip de jour) is not going to add significant cost to the unit. Most Universals above the entry level employ some amount of upsampling on Redbook CD's and this is where, I think, most companies can get it noticeably wrong. On the other hand, upsampling seems to work best when the signal arrives at the chipset inputs as unscathed as possible. All that begins with a good transport, and the DVD transport in most $500+ Universals has a good chance of being superior to the mechanics and optics of a dedicated CD player. In recent years, a considerable number of the "better" dedicated players have been using DVD/computer transports due to the stagnation of the devices from Sony and Philips which had been the basis for most of the best players up until a few years ago. The HiFi+ article on the Rega player discusses briefly some of the changes which have taken place in the mechanical/optical portion of all players lately and seemed to suggest the market could be on the verge of some improvements as new assemblies enter the competition for universal acceptance. (By nature, the industry is always on the verge of some important advancement.) I believe it stated the Rega now employs a Sanyo transport. Certainly five years ago Sanyo was not considered a major player in the upscale market of CD or DVD/Universal units.


The low priced Universals are a different beast. You can look at the web pages devoted to upgrading the less expensive players to make them more competitive overall and see that the modders are replacing parts which add little to the overall cost of the player; but in the larger scheme of things would not allow the unit to retail for $107. Economics of scale take effect here also. It is unlikely someone would invest $150 in a Universal player and then put another $700 worth of mods in the unit. On the other side of the equation, the products such as the Denon 2900 and above are getting mods which amount to large scale surgical procedures and take a $1k player to the final price of over $3-5k (if you want both audio and video processing addressed). Interestingly, the market for modding dedicated CD players seems to have dropped off, as the general recommendation is to begin with a better player first.


Take all of that and file it wherever you feel appropriate.


Don - I remember using Chick Corea's "Mad Hatter" as a demo disc many, many years ago and listening to him when he played his Romantic Warrior groupings. If I remember correctly, Mad Hatter would definitely not appeal to Mer if she thinks Mr. Evans playing was "choppy".



Don, while you're here, let me have you educate us a bit more about how some music is played. I made the remark I thought your left hand took care of the bass. You seemed to indicate that what your left hand does while playing bass and piano are two different things. While I can see the mechanics of playing the two instruments are different, it would seem knowing when your left hands does its job is primarily the same for the pianist or the bass player. What then are you learning about the bass that is different than the piano in those terms?


 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7773
Registered: May-04


Larry - If I remember correctly, the HK model was a 790. Whether the same numbers apply to US and European product for HK, I don't know. They indicated this was at, or close to, the top player HK will produce for dedicated two channel use and sold for 300 Pounds. That would probably make it approximately a $400 USD player.




 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 727
Registered: Feb-04
Don,

Thanks for your recommendations. They're always appreciated. Gomez is probably the speediest bass player I've heard and is definitely gifted in his technique as evident in his solos on the Evans Montreux album. I'll keep my eyes out for the Corea albums. Looking at my jazz albums I realize that almost all of them are from a 10 year period between 1955 and 1965. It's a rich era to mine and I'm still making discoveries (Sonny Clark and Kenny Burrell for example. Burrell's "Midnight Blue" is the perfect album to listen to late at night with the lights turned down low), but I'd like to venture out to more contemporary stuff. I remember a while ago I listened to some fusion albums and promptly placed them on my Maybe-I'll-Like-It-When-I-Become-Less-Uptight shelf.

SM,

Yes, all the Blue Note RVG editions sound great, as well as the OJC reissues from that era. An Art Pepper bio followed by a Chet Baker bio? Or the beginning of everything you want to know about messed up, drugged out white jazz musicians, but were afraid to ask. But they played beautifully, especially Art.

Mr. Vigne,

One option on silver disc playback that hasn't been covered here is using a modest universal player (which I consider my Denon 2200) and adding a quality DAC for playing cds. Actually, I'm thinking of using my antique California Audio Labs cdp, which isn't that bad, as a transport and adding a DAC (ideally one that can also connect to my computer). Do you have any thoughts on this option?


John A.,

'As they say in California, I believe, "I can relate to that"'

Dude, where you do get that stuff?
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 728
Registered: Feb-04
Larry R.,

How about getting one less option on your new car and getting a Marantz 8260 with the saved funds? There might even be a Marantz dealer in your area for an audition.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7779
Registered: May-04


2c - I bet Larry will look for another Camry since Toyota and Honda have the highest loyalty rates in the industry. If Larry is careful, the way Toyota packages their options, he might just find the Marantz 8260 included in the upgraded lighting package.



"Antique" cdp, eh? I can't really comment without knowing what model and what you expect. The area of transports did improve dramatically in the mid '90's. Therefore, if your present antique has an older set of mechanics/optics, there is possibly a problem with jitter coming from the transport. Jitter is the first area to address when doing an upgrade on a digital playback device. Without reclocking to a Master Clock, I would venture to say, you can find better performance in a mid priced contemporary cdp than you could extract from your older unit. Then the issue of DAC's needs to be addressed. Which are you considering? The market for outboard DAC's has shrunk significantly since manufacturers began concentrating on clocking errors. It's easier to get those right when the entire unit is self contained. Most of what is available in new DAC's is reasonably high priced from what I've seen. Maybe someone else knows of a less expensive alternative to consider. The pre owned market for DAC's is about like the market for older sushi. Things are moving almost too fast to remain at the cuting edge of digital for long. I know my PS Audio Super Link (18 bit, 8X over) from the early '90's is easily surpassed in quality by any player I presently have in house.


 

New member
Username: Jazzwannabe

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-06
(Note: I've re-registered as "Jazzwannabe" -- Don)

"...what your left hand does while playing bass and piano are two different things. What then are you learning about the bass that is different than the piano in those terms?"

Jan, thanks for asking. This is a long read. I hope you find it interesting.

Back in the days of the stride piano, artists like Art Tatum, Fats Waller, and Oscar Peterson, to name a few, played the bass and and the chords with the left hand while the right played the melody and improvisation thereof in dizzying, breakneck speed. The stride piano style was, and continues to be, a one-man (woman) performance that incorporates everything: rhythm, harmony, melody, and improvs. Today, there are very few practitioners of the stride piano style. My favorites are Dick Hyman and Ralph Sutton. Check out their solo piano albums. Hyman is usually tapped by Woody Herman to play piano for his movies.

Enter the bass player. Before the Bill Evans Trio was born, the bassist merely "kept time." He played "two to the beat" figures (one-and, two-and) in a four-beat measure, or two half-notes. Then after the pianist or horn player has stated the melody, i.e., played the main theme, the bassist then would play a "walking bass" figure. This essentially consists of scales (or "modes") of one chord leading to the next. So, for example, on a chord progression of C -- A minor -- D minor -- G7, the bassist would play a simple line such as C-B-A-E-D-F-G-B-C, each note getting one beat each or technically, played as a quarter note each. It's up to the bassist to vary the notes, the values, etc.

Therefore, the bass player took the "bass" part from the pianist's left hand so that the latter could concentrate on playing chords or what we call "voicings." Also, the pianist need not --- and as a respect to the bassist --- and often does not play the "root" note of the chord. Instead, he/she plays the "voicing" parts of the chord. Let me illustrate that:

On the scale of C Major, the notes are

IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIII
CDEFGABC


I added the octave, the 8th C to illustrate the point below.

C (I) is the "root" note. E is the third, G is the fifth, and so on.

To play the C Major, a pianist would play these notes on the left hand: E -- G -- D (the D is in the next octave).

A normal C Major triad (three notes) consists of C (root), E (the third), and G (dominant fifth). But no self-respecting jazz pianist would play a simple C triad like this. He/she will play a Major-9th as illustrated above --- the D after the octave C (VIII) is the "9th" of
the C major chord.

So, where does the bass player come in? The bass would play the root note, in this case "C" in the 1st position (I). Again, going back in time, a stride piano player (playing alone), would have to play the root note and the other notes at the same time. The bass player now takes care of the root and other bass notes that a pianist would normally play alone with his/her left hand. The presence of a bassist, therefore, freed up the pianist to do his/her unbridled, unrestrained improvs.

You're with me so far?

Without a bass player, a pianist who wanted to "swing" his solo, that is, to play it in a finger-snappin' tempo, would have to play a "walking bass" with his left hand. Get a bass player and the walking bass pattern is taken care of, thus, freeing the pianist's left hand to make stabbing chords while the right plays those fluid and intricate melodic patterns.

The "stabbing" chords are really the harmonic parts of the chord. In the above example, if a pianist wants to play a C7 briefly, he/she will play E (the third) and a minor B (the 7th). He/she will play it in "chops", and this is what, I suspect, Mer may have found disconcerting in Bill Evans' playing on the Empathy/A Simple Matter of Conviction CD. Because the tempo was fast and swinging, there was no room to play full chords and sustain them. Evans was playing those fast chops contrapuntal to the fast walking (make that
"running") bass figures. Chick Corea does the same in the "Akoustic Band" album.

When Bill Evans formed his trio, he wanted both drummer and bassist to interact with him, instead of just keeping time. And I think this is one of the reasons that made his trio unique compared to say, the Oscar Peterson trio with Ray Brown and Ed Thigpen. Evans found a kindred soul in Scott LaFaro who played complementary interesting figures behind Evans' solos. A good example is the tune Israel from the album Explorations. Listen to the three-note figures played by LaFaro and Paul Motion (playing closed high-hat cymbals) as Evans starts to improvise. The usual approach would have been for LaFaro to play a simple walking bass and for Motian to play a ding-ding-ding-ding on the ride cymbals. Instead, they play this three-note figures that add tension to the piano solo. Only after about four choruses, do LaFaro and Motian "open up" into the usual swing -- Motian opens up on the ride cymbal. Listen closely and you can actually feel a sense of relief as the three-note tension gives way to the medium swing tempo.

To appreciate the bassist-pianist and solo pianist milieu further, I suggest the following recordings:

George Shearing -- any solo piano album of his is a fantastic piece of art. He is famous for his "locked hands" technique where he
plays block chords. He plays great bass lines with his left hand.

Bill Evans -- "Alone" -- my favorite solo piano album of all time

Bill Evans -- "Intuition" -- duet album with Eddie Gomez (2C, take note!). Evans plays electric piano on some tracks.

Marian McPartland -- "The Single Petal of a Rose: The Essence of Duke Ellington" She plays solo piano and alternately with a
bassist. McPartland's solo piano take on Billy Strayhorn's "Take The 'A' Train" is a jaw-dropper.

Dick Hyman -- Check out his rag solos on "Melissa and Melissa" soundtrack.

On one of the albums by Mel Tormé, the song "Just In Time" opens up with just the bass playing walking lines and Tormé coasting along effortlessly on those lines!

=====================
I taught myself how to play bass. The guitar was my first instrument and I took to chord progressions like a fish takes to water. I loved the concept of changing harmonies and connecting them. I then had formal lessons both on the guitar and piano. With a good foundation of harmony, I was able to play bass based on what I'd heard from Ray Brown and Eugene Wright (of the Dave Brubeck quartet). For pop music, I listened to Paul McCartney and Peter Cetera, when the latter was still with the early Chicago band.

These days, I'm trying to develop a strong left hand so that when asked to play solo piano, I'll be able to play good bass lines and interesting voicings at the same time. The bass lines may not necessarily be walking bass figures, but they should complement my voicings. I'm also trying to wean myself from playing the root note less and playing more of the harmonies or the "inner voicings" of a chord.

I think I'll end here before you and/or the forum BBS shuts down due to overload! But here's a picture of a bass guitar that I rented and played a few weeks ago in a jazz jam party at our home.

http://www.geocities.com/donrx1/jam-setup-Feb2006.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/donrx1/RD-170-n-Yamaha-bass.jpg

Cheers!
Don
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7781
Registered: May-04


Damn! Knocked the pictures clear off the wall. That's some playin'!


Thanks for the lesson, I'll have a few more questions when I get time, if you don't mind.


P.S. Dick Hyman recorded for Reference Recordings back in the '80-90's. I'll dig out my copy to be certain, but I'm thinking Dr. Johnson recorded him on his first direct to CD disc. Terrific sound and great playing of excellent music.


 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3971
Registered: Dec-03
2c: "Dude, where you do get that stuff?" Well, in the 1980s. Along with "Doing a number", "Floats my boat" etc.. It is probably all passé, now, like "Swell" was then. Sorry to interrupt, Don.

Larry - "How does it sound?": more detail; greater resolution; more music; more like the real thing. Will try harder to summarize in a day or too.

Don, that's really good.
 

New member
Username: Jazzwannabe

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-06
Re: Mad Hatter, "...Chopin's Bartok influence is evident..." should read, "Corea's Bartok influence is evident..."

- Don

==========
Where's KEGGER?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1138
Registered: Oct-04
Don: great explanation - thanks! Now, where do I put my fingers on that keyboard? (grin)

Jan V. - hmm - can't find any HK 790 - the newest players are the DVD-27 and DVD-47, which plays all formats. From the research I've done, the sales-types can't keep the unit in stock. Very popular. . .

As to the Marantz? Well. . . .I'll get the Camry first, the audio gear second.

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Bronze Member
Username: Asimo

Post Number: 63
Registered: Apr-04
Hi to all

Last week I did some upgrading for my stereo system. I followed MR enthusiasms about the NAD C162 C272 combo and added C270 power amplifier. The NAD C270 power was connected to the NAD 7000 monitor receiver pre to my Mission 751f speakers and replaced my NAD C350 integrated.
I could not recognize my NAD monitor receiver. A new life entered it and made it to sing. The NAD monitor NAD C270 combo was better than the NAD C350 alone and better than the NAD C350 NAD C270 combo!
Than came the acid test. I brought my Sonus Faber concertino's speaker from the frost. The Sonus Faber Concertino's are very accurate delicate and spoiled speakers. Up to now they did not work well with any of my amplifiers so I put them in storage.
After connecting them to the NAD 7000 monitor NAD C270 combo, like miracle they started to sing. All the extra bright and shrillness of the high disappeared.
Now I think about adding NAD C160 or C162 and use the NAD monitor receiver as a tuner only.
Thanks again to MR that evaluated in another thread the virtues of the NAD C162 C272 combo.

In the video section I have also some improvement. I have added Mitsubishi HC100 front projector and the results are amazing. The picture is spread on the wall about 2.5 meters wide, very sharp much better than any LCD or plasma screens.


SM

The NAD Sonus Faber system is probably not Mac MMG system. The sonus Faber Concertino's is very accurate, pinpoint, small bookshelf styled Italian speaker. I think your NAD C350 Monitor Audio GR10 was in the same
Some people prefer specious sound that I think the MMG create.

Larry R

Where are the days of the operanutz threads? Anyway I have some new recommended classical music DVD 's

Mozart Requiem Vienna Philharmonic Solti Decca 1991

Handel Messiah Academy and Chorus St Martin in the Fields
Sir Neville Marriner - Philips 1992

European Concert 1994 Berliner Philharmonic Claudio Abbado
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5 Daniel Barenboim
Brahms Sym No2 TDK 2002

I do not use any surround, only stereo but I found that the new digital DVI connection from the computer or DVD player to the projector transfers excellent video. I also have a Hi-Fi external sound card SB Extigy.




 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3975
Registered: Dec-03
Posted on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 01:10 am:

re Spitfires (parental guidance recommended)

My Rantz, thank you! I put a still on Old Dogs and their jokes!.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1139
Registered: Oct-04
Asimo: Great to hear from you again, sir! Sounds like you've broken your piggy bank and spent all the coins that fell out! (grin)

Ah, yes - OperaNutz - we had too much opera and too few Nutz to make it work - sorry. . .

On the DVDS - I have both the Solti Mozart Requiem and the St. Martin in Fields Handel discs - and they are, indeed, "noteworthy!" The Mozart, especially, I play two or three times a month.

Must away to the ole-friend automobile - for the 2-hour trek up to Sarasota - tonight, it's Die Fledermaus - and Mer is very anxious to see/hear it again. It's been two years now since we've seen a production, and eagerly await the young and trying-so-hard performers tonight. Will post a mini-review. . .

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3977
Registered: Dec-03
Agreed; interesting post, Asimo. "A new life entered it and made it to sing. " I like that. Have ASMITF performing Messiah but on LP with King's College Choir, recorded in King's College Chapel. Decca. Late 60s. Plus a number of more recent recordings.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 342
Registered: Nov-05
John, I guess parts of that clip never got on air:-)

If anyone else is interested in the short, humorous, Spitfire film clip send me a PM with your email address if I don't already have it. Be warned it contains offensive language (but understandable under the circumstance).

Asimo

I am pleased the addition of the C270 made a difference with those Sonus Fabers - enjoy the music. I am still very happy with our new NAD gear, it's made a big difference to our music enjoyment also.

Larry

Enjoy the opera. Have you heard of the tenor Bruce Sledge? He sung the aria "Nessun dorma" from Puccini's Turandot in the background music in the movie "The Sum of all Fears" (the closing chapter). Really wonderful version.

Jan

Due to comments regarding universal vs stand alone cdp's for redbook playback I have been doing some more comparisons between the 2900 and the 542. I think I must be living in the Twilight Zone - I am totally bewildered with what I heard. I will post my findings after Mrs Rantz gets a chance to compare also this weekend.

All

If you haven't noticed already, there are no more posts without registration and no more anonymous posts allowed. Yippee ki yay!

 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7808
Registered: May-04
Feel free to thank the administrator:

https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/updates/206211.html


 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1140
Registered: Oct-04
MR - the opera, or rather, "operetta" was simply wonderful! Great singing, sets, orchestra and costumes. The Bat is a favorite - and the Sarasota group did it proud!

Sorry - have not heard of Mr.Sledge - probably should have, but nope.

Stopped by a bookstore before the opera, and picked up a copy of the HiFi+ mag that Jan V. referred to earlier - CD player reviews - and found a Harman Kardon I've not heard of, and may not even be sold in the US.

Anyway - the review had the HK, the Rega Apollo and a Philips deck (thought they'd stopped making them!) lined up in a rather disjointed review..

Anyway - he gave the highest marks to the Rega, calling it exceptionally musical. Be proud, John!

Away to bed - it's after 1 a.m. - yawn.

Respectfully. . . LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3980
Registered: Dec-03
Flagging a post from me on the thread:

CD Players > Anyone hear the new rega apollo yet ???.
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3981
Registered: Dec-03
Thanks, Larry. I read that HiFi+ "shootout". I don't remember the reviewer coming to any clear conclusion, or saying much that was not in the manufacturers' press releases.

MR; I enjoyed "The Sum of all Fears" and remember that bit of Puccini; great effect.

I wonder if Bruce is any relation to Percy?
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 347
Registered: Nov-05
Well not if it's the Percy one points at the porcelain John. Most definitely not!

nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Say no more :-)
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 3982
Registered: Dec-03
Say - no - more.

We're both men of the world, eh?

Tough name to live with, "Sledge", I should think.
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 560
Registered: Mar-04
Well not if it's the Percy one points at the porcelain John. Most definitely not!
nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Say no more :-)


I have to ask, Rantz, is that "down under" reference?
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1141
Registered: Oct-04
Sem: Very good. . .brings out a chuckle, even in the morning!

Power cords - do they make any difference? Was casting about on the 'net, and found some references to A-B and ABX testing on the high-priced cables and their supposed superiority in sound quality.

The "Bay Area Audio Society" last year took a hugely expensive cable - I think $1,400 - and did a blind test with a dozen or so people. Set up a screen, behind which hid the cable-changers - then did A-B-X double-blind tests for more than a day.

In the end - the members said they could tell the difference about 51% of the time - or about the same ratio as flipping a coin!

So much for "major differences" in sonic qualities in mega-buck electric cords. I've always wondered how the heck it could make any difference - and guess maybe it's one of those:"I paid a thousand bucks for it, and it sounds GREAT - you got any problem with that??" (grin)

So - my question to all dogs: Have you done any similar testing - and do those "upgrade" cables make any difference - to you - in sound quality?

Maybe sorta like green-lining the CDs? (grin)

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7822
Registered: May-04


CD's arrived, Larry. Thanks. I'll let you know of my impressions when I have time to listen. I now understand the title of the double CD.
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1143
Registered: Oct-04
Jan V. - U R most welcome, sir. Hope you like them!

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Silver Member
Username: Two_cents

Post Number: 730
Registered: Feb-04
Larry,

I'm currently auditioning an aftermarket power cord. The company Element Cable is an internet retailer that offers a 30-day return policy on its product. So I thought I'd give it a shot.

After I installed the new cord on my amp I noticed the music had more snap, crispness and better dynamics. At this point, I won't discount the possibility the improvement is psychosomatic. My plan is to keep the new cord in the system for a couple of weeks and then to reinstall the stock cord to see if there is any drop-off in performance. I'll report back with my findings.


Glad you were able to find some culture in Floriduh. It's not exactly opera, but I listened to Elisabeth Schwarzkopf singing (the other) Strauss' "Four Last Songs" last night. It has to be one of the best vocal recordings ever (not in terms of sonics). It's goosepimply good.
 

Silver Member
Username: Simplymcintosh

Post Number: 358
Registered: Jan-05
Asimo,

It's great to hear from you! That's excellent news about your new NAD C270 and the pleasure it's brought to your listening experience. Congratulations! I'm feeling a little restless about my system but I don't know if it is genuine dissatisfaction or a severe case of curiosity. The only way I can determine this is by trying out something new. :-)

I do love the way music sounds through the Mac/MMG combo. However, I will be trying out a pair of single-driver speakers. The outcome of that will determine whether I keep the Maggies.

Tube amp for your computer for those who may be interested:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0306/dared_mp5.htm


 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 7828
Registered: May-04


Don - A few more lessons, please. After reading some liner notes and a few articles, several terms have repeated themself over and over and I think I could stand a good explanation.



The liner notes to the CD's Larry sent quotes drummer Shelly Manne, " ... Bill figured out the changes and the rest just evolved." OK, I understand we're talking about chord changes; but what is Evans figuring out at that point? How much is set forth by one performer as a rule when dealing with a personality the size of Evans working with other talented musicians and how much is left to improvisation? How much of "figuring out the changes he wanted" is a part of one performer's style?


Next, I need some instruction in "swing". The phrase keeps coming up no matter where I am in jazz. I've been listening to some Count Basie from the 30's through the Kansas City Five and Seven, Coleman Hawkins and Gene Krupa and I see references to "swing" as far back as the 20's. It seemed to prevail in the '40's and '50's until "bebop" began to take its place in jazz. Even then in the late 1950's and '60's the word "swing" still is present. The word itself seems to have evolved as the players needed a word to describe how they felt when they were in the "groove" or in the "pocket". So, without taking up a very long amount of your time, tell me what "swing" is to a jazz musician.



 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1144
Registered: Oct-04
2C - I shall be very interested, indeed, in your findings. And I think I typed in error above - it is the Bay Area Audiophile society that did that, and many other tests. Somewhere in your area - but don't know much about the group. . .

I once took the power cord off an Onkyo receiver, and substituted 12-gauge stranded cord - on the advice of an "audiophile" who told me it would "clean up" my sound. Welllll - I listened and listened, and went back and forth - but I never could hear any difference. I think the darned cord took up more space than the receiver did! (grin)

SM - W H A T ! ? ! ? - - do I read you korektly? I mean, GIVE UP THE MAGGIES? Huh? Might as well throw in your Great Books and CDs to Take to a Desert Island as well!!! (grin) Never thought I'd read that in your posting. . .

Jan: glad you're learning about jazz - and you've got a great teacher! I'm glad for you, and for the rest of us Olde Dawgs as well - we could all use a refresher course or three now and again. . .OK, Don RX-1 - take it away! Ah-1 and ah-2. . .

Respectfully. . .LarryR
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1145
Registered: Oct-04
2C et al - going back to the power cord issue, please. I fail to see how changing out a few feet of power cable can make a difference - given the fact that the electricity before that cable is running along many yards of probably 14-gauge Romex or the like, and that it runs in and out of various interference-fields.

I know, I know - I should read more about it. Well, the more I read the more confused or just plain skeptical I get. . .now excuse me while I go polish the cones that sit under my subwoofer. . .

LR
 

Silver Member
Username: Sem

New York USA

Post Number: 561
Registered: Mar-04
glad you're learning about jazz - and you've got a great teacher! I'm glad for you, and for the rest of us Olde Dawgs as well - we could all use a refresher course or three now and again. . .OK, Don RX-1 - take it away! Ah-1 and ah-2. . .

Hijacking the jazz portion of this thread for just a moment...Dena DeRose http://www.denaderose.com/ is a jazz vocalist who used to live in nearby Binghamton, in upstate NY but has since moved to NYC. While up here my brother occasionally played piano at her gigs. Check her out.
 

Silver Member
Username: My_rantz

Australia

Post Number: 348
Registered: Nov-05
Sem - "down under reference" - very astute and hilarious :-)

John,

Percy Sledge - wasn't he a one hit wonder with "When A Man Loves A Woman" or something like that?

Okay, during our routine saturday outing we stopped by a newly renovated hi-fi store just as they were finishing setting up a Krell pre & power combo, sacd/cd player hooked to a pair of Sonus Farber floorstanders. The guy then played a few bits from a couple of classical cd's. Damn! I wish I hadn't heard it. All in all, the system costs somewhere in the late 30 GRAND!
 

Gold Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 1146
Registered: Oct-04
Rantz: my instructions, sir, are: "run, don't walk, away!"

lr
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