Jaw-dropping experiences - post them

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi and General Audio' started by RobHolt, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. RobHolt

    RobHolt Moderator

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    If you've ever had any truly jaw-dropping experiences in audio let's hear about them.
    Real 'OMG' moments :)

    For me, three spring to mind over the past thirty odd years.

    Back around 1979 buying a JVC QL7 direct drive. We (grandfather and I) sealed and filled the hollow wooden plinth with concrete, put some big hefty springs into the feet and mounted a Mission 774 arm on it.
    Utter transformation to performance and it was good to start with. I can still remember the buzz as the music started.

    Second must be getting a pair of Impulse H2s.
    Dynamics and scale I'd never experienced from anything before. Edge of seat spine tingling stuff at times.

    Latest has to be Quad 57s.
    You want to direct coupled your ears to the music? - 57s will do it in that critical mid band. Part of the jaw drop in this case was the realisation that such performance had been set back in 1957.
     
    RobHolt, Oct 24, 2010
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  2. RobHolt

    Purite Audio Purite Audio

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    That's easy the first time I heard Cessaro horns, just so more more real vivid palpable than anything I had heard previously, my then current speakers (B&W. 800d's) were sold within the week.
    Keith.
     
    Purite Audio, Oct 24, 2010
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  3. RobHolt

    Dave Simpson Plywood King

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    My first hifi: It was 1970 and I had assembled my first rig with a Dual 1215 TT w/V-15 III, Marantz 1030 integrated amp and BIC Formula IV speakers built from the unbiased teachings of Stereo Review magazine. It was truly horrible sounding. Out of desperation, I replaced the modern hi-tech 1030 with a beat-up old Heathkit integrated 15WPC tube amp circa '63 that a neighbor was about to junk and had my first jaw drop. I never trusted another magazine again.

    The Linn LP-12 back in '75 or '76. Back then, the experts told us TTs had no "sound" apart from W&F and rumble though both were inaudible on the best. I wasn't prepared for what came out of this turntable when I heard it for the first time and against our best TTs of the day. I don't think Linn realised fully what they had on their hands at this point. There was no setup manual at all back then other than a hand out sheet with a wiring diagram, fitting the belt, and blurb about ordering the TT with or without plinth for broadcast use.

    Nakamichi CDPE3?: I can't remember the exact model number of this mid-to-late-eighties Nak CD player but I do recall a blurb in the handout about the Nak engineers specifically set out to design a no-nonsense CDP for themselves without any bells and whistles. IIIRC, management got hold of this player and found it so good, they put it into production. It retailed for $300 US and completely dropped my jaw when I put it up against the LP-12s in my dem room at work and at home. It beat the old fruit box easily on a lot of program material.

    I found the same (and to a greater extent) with the Karik/Numerik which came out shortly afterwards.

    The Naim CDS: Discovered by me in 1995 and was an LP-12 revelation all over again. For me, this was the last nail in the coffin. Sold all my LP-12s and records and switched over to digital without any regrets what so ever.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2010
    Dave Simpson, Oct 24, 2010
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  4. RobHolt

    Richard Dunn

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    And then they cocked it up in the latter ones. :rolleyes:
     
    Richard Dunn, Oct 24, 2010
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  5. RobHolt

    Richard Dunn

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    They hadn't a clue because they didn't design it, they just ripped it off from the guy who did designed it.
     
    Richard Dunn, Oct 24, 2010
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  6. RobHolt

    Richard Dunn

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    All mine are design things with NVA so I wont talk about them. Though my re-acquaintance with the PL-71 and SPU were good ones.
     
    Richard Dunn, Oct 24, 2010
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  7. RobHolt

    bottleneck talks a load of rubbish

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    that is very easy for me.

    it is hearing ''kevin scotts prototype 5 way horn system'' all powered with kondo power amps - one per channel... that's over £100,000 in power amps alone... lets not mention the K77 pre-amp..

    What really blew me away though was the bass from the folded horns. I will build the same pair (the plans are pretty well known) when I have a room capable of doing it justice, and neighbours sufficiently distant to never know..

    Nothing at any show, in any living room, or on any occasion - be it a live event, recorded music or even live music blew me away as much as this did. It didn't just raise the bar for me, but put the bar on another planet.

    All other hifi discoveries for me have been very minor in comparison.. and theres been a few of them..
     
    bottleneck, Oct 24, 2010
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  8. RobHolt

    Dave Simpson Plywood King

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    We'd love to hear about them unless they are proprietary and you'd rather not disclose-I completely understand.

    If it's a matter of concern you'll hypnotize or brainwash us with The Slurp because you might accidently use the word NVA seven times in a post - I promise it won't happen.
     
    Dave Simpson, Oct 24, 2010
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  9. RobHolt

    Joe Petrik Denebian Slime Devil

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    Big speakers from 1958 that do scale and dynamics and all the FE things my Royd Sorcerers did.

    It's not an original observation, but I think most of the improvement in audio over the last 50 years has been in its marketing, something Rob has probably also discovered with the 57s.

    Joe
     
    Joe Petrik, Oct 24, 2010
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  10. RobHolt

    RobHolt Moderator

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    Doesn't matter in the slightest.
    Recount them if you wish.
     
    RobHolt, Oct 24, 2010
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  11. RobHolt

    Labarum

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    The day I realised that the output from my standard Audigy Soundcard bettered my Quad 77 CD player by quite a margin.

    This must have been over five years ago on an XP box I no longer have.

    My Beresford Caiman? Another huge step forward.
     
    Labarum, Oct 24, 2010
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  12. RobHolt

    Werner

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    Three such experiences.

    1) Aged 19, coming from a LEDs/Watts/knobs/loudness-always-on POV, but having read/studied the required audiophile bibles (mags) by then, my friendly dealer exposed me to

    LP12/Ittok/Asaka or Cambridge CD2 - Cyrus One - B&W DM100

    which for me confirmed what the mags were telling and what I had to do.


    2) Aged 22, and on the ladder, same dealer exposed me to

    TEAC X1 - Marantz SC22/Krell KST100 - Apogee Caliper Signature

    I had heard the non-sig Calipers before, but this here right then was it...


    3) Ten years ago, visiting a colleague reviewer in France with a hybrid of his own system and review items

    Orbe/SME IV/Dynavector XV1 - some tube pre - 47Labs - some Cabasse speakers, playing Take 5 and old Nina Simone stuff.

    Despite the idiotic tonal balance (Cabasse+47Labs is plenty to shoot down airplanes with) this was rather impressive and inspiring.
    Back home I ordered a IV, and last year an Orbe ...
     
    Werner, Oct 24, 2010
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  13. RobHolt

    Richard Dunn

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    Well the three biggest were putting together a passive pre just for test purposes because I had run out of PCB's for the active ones. On that afternoons listening I cancelled the order for the active PCB's. Then a days balancing of the input gain and load to match the power amp stages and bingo! mid 80's jobby.

    Secondly getting fed up with the strange trend to high cap speaker cables blowing up my amps, and my design of parallel separately insulated solid cores that is behind NVA low cap speaker cable. The first pair dropped my jaw, and the refinement of cores and dielectric since has just made things better, original work late 80's

    Thirdly was shotgunning a smaller version of soundpipe to create supersoundpipe, and then finding out how much sonic difference that made as a digital interconnect. This one about three or four year ago, so they still happen occasionally.

    Many others, in fact the whole design process is made up of different levels of these revelations.
     
    Richard Dunn, Oct 24, 2010
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  14. RobHolt

    flatpopely Trade - AudioFlat

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    Boring.
     
    flatpopely, Oct 24, 2010
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  15. RobHolt

    flatpopely Trade - AudioFlat

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    My 'wow' moment was hearing Mission 70s at the Last Drop Show in Bolton.

    OMG, they were ace.
     
    flatpopely, Oct 24, 2010
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  16. RobHolt

    Dave Simpson Plywood King

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    There's two sides to every story (some say three - mine, yours and the truth.) So far, we've only heard one. Ivor is not here and Hamish can't be so it's water under a bridge as far as I'm concerned.
     
    Dave Simpson, Oct 24, 2010
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  17. RobHolt

    Basil

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    Listening to this!

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Leopold-Sto...=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1287945432&sr=1-1

    I can do no better than quote the last line from the review on Amazon.


    Buy this...NOW!

    Ha! Posting about music in the hi-fi section rules OK!
     
    Basil, Oct 24, 2010
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  18. RobHolt

    Dave Simpson Plywood King

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    You're on a roll dude!
     
    Dave Simpson, Oct 24, 2010
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  19. RobHolt

    Basil

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    Music is so much more interesting than hi-fi! :cool:
     
    Basil, Oct 24, 2010
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  20. RobHolt

    Dave Simpson Plywood King

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    I don't know, I think it's pretty cool when Richard goes postal and damn near nukes the place.
     
    Dave Simpson, Oct 24, 2010
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