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February 3rd, 2008

Audiophilia 2

Part 1

I'm listening to Steve's sound system and searching the web for possibilities.  He just got a hand-me-down Sony receiver (str-de475) and a nice set of 3-way Technics (sb-cr55).*  I sampled the same music as I did for my brother-in-law's system and, because I've enjoyed Steve's more, I've played it for several more hours.  (Or it could just be that I'm headache free this time.)  His system seems to respond better to the kind of music that I like: minimalism, especially choirs, organs, etc.  Anyways, on to the criticism.

The higher frequencies still aren't as clear and crisp on these Technics.  The bass is nice (I can feel Knee Play), the midrange is clear but too "airy", but I couldn't hear anything good coming from the tweeters.  Part's soprano sounded like she would have been far more clearer in person.  Again this could be the recording.  Kim threw in a piece from Sarah Brightman and she sounded good at high volume.  A little reading on audiokarma.org and audioholics.org seems to indicate that cone tweeters such as these typically let down those of us looking for brighter sounds.  So I'll be looking for dome tweeters.  Klipsch still keeps popping up as a good match for my expectations, as do Polk and (some) Pioneer speakers.

On to the receiver vs. amplifier question: it seems I'm looking for an amplifier.  These typically drive loudspeakers with greater power (100+ Watts per channel) and it will allow me to add on better pieces as I get richer.  :)  The vintage Marantz amps on ebay are selling for $250+!  Seeing how I'm poor, the vintage Yamaha A and R series integrated amplifiers sound like they get good reviews, alongside most any of the big manufacturer's integrated or stereo amps from the late 70's/early 80's, even Pioneer.   So maybe I need to sit down for another sound test with my brother-in-law's Pioneer ... oh, he's got a receiver.  Yea, I don't need digital blah-blah hyper-speed interconnect stuff that receivers provide.  Just lots of juice for each of my 2-4 speaker connects for now.  :)

Next stop: Dad's sound system.

*NOTE: see the audiophilia language?  I would have not known what this sentence meant a week ago.  See; intelligence isn't necessarily brain power.  I think the vast majority of what we call "intelligence" is actually the proper communication of our knowledge via proscribed lexical and grammatical parameters.  In other words, intelligence is far too socially constructed.  *gag*