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Aural Memory... (Read 998 times)
Mark
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Posts: 190
Aural Memory...
07/08/12 at 23:09:27
 
I heard some mention of this somewhere on the forums here (don't recall where), and I'd like to add a few things:

As a long-term musician I have either been blessed or cursed with a good aural (auditory) memory... And that, of course, includes both live music, and recorded mediums in whatever format...

Ex: In 1975, I lived and worked in NYC in audio sales, and we were setting up a new store uptown called Audio Salon... To shorten the story, Bud Fried (IMF, Fried) comes in with his new Model H system with the transmission line bass commodes... We hooked the things up to some Audio Research gear in our best soundroom, using a Thorens TT with London Decca MC cartridge... One thing I remember is that the cartridge didn't even have a cantilever!... Just some kind of solid mounting arrangement...

Anyway, the sound was so good, it literally ruined my ear almost to this day... My ear 'remembered' what I heard, and it tainted all that came afterwards... Truth was, I could never afford the gear I listened to that day, and it pained me greatly...

Click to the present: I've since learned to train my ear to accept lesser sources than that system, and it took a good amount of doing, I can tell you that much...  One thing that really surprised me was how close low power SET amps came to that nirvana moment...

Note: Irving 'Bud' Fried has since passed away, rest his soul... He was a great guy, and was always available for a talk about audio stuff... I visited him at his home in Phila. a few times, and he had all manner of prototypes to hear in his living room... All based on that wonderful T-line bass system. The best unfettered low freq. extension I've ever heard... He was a real pioneer in high quality audio...

Anyway, back to the subect-at-hand: Right, aural memory... As I said, it can either serve you, or put you in the dumper... I made a rule for myself to not listen to systems way out of my dollar rage for that reason... I know it sounds a bit severe, but given the chance to hear that system again, I would likely decline today...

I now like to tune my aural senses to what is generally available to myself in practical terms... Now, here's where Decware just may cut in in a favorable way: The stuff's actually affordable!... And I think I just may be able to eat rice and beans long enough to put together a system that retrieves at least most of that original experience... At any rate, I look forward to at least trying... (m.)
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If a rabbit defined intelligence the way man does, then the most intelligent animal would be a rabbit, followed by the animal most willing to obey the commands of a rabbit. -Robert Brault, writer (b. 1938)
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will
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Posts: 1146
Re: Aural Memory...
Reply #1 - 07/08/12 at 23:27:59
 
Mark,

Great story. I hope you find what you are looking for with Decware. I have, and suspect you will too. My system/room goes beyond any expectations I might have had at fleshing out the "live," authentic sound from recordings...the sense of players transported from studio to my room. A different experience from personally playing excellent acoustic instruments in a good room, but no less enjoyable for me. And all the people I can have over!!! Right now I have Sonny Rollins and crew.
Wink

Good luck!
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Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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tomh
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Re: Aural Memory...
Reply #2 - 07/09/12 at 19:51:52
 
Mark, you're taking me back to my youth.  After hearing some Fried satillites at my favorite local sound room, I resolved to one day own a pair.  I eventually had the B-2s and the separate model T stereo subwoofers which was the later version of the H-2 system.  I was driving them with  Thorens tt, SME arm, Stanton cartridge, Marantz model 7 pre, and Dynaco Mk lll monoblocks.  And, yes!, life was good!

Tom
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Mark
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Posts: 190
Re: Aural Memory...
Reply #3 - 07/10/12 at 02:53:14
 
Thanks for your replies... I would like to add something here, and I think Steve touched on it in one of his papers: and that is the fact that the same LPs I played that day didn't sound as good on other systems, even good ones... There was some kind of synergy afoot...

I got to thinking about it, and I've decided that it was the extensive tuning / voicing of that MC cartridge that made all the difference in the world... Incidentally, you can still buy them, but at a premium price, I'll say!... And the basic design has stood the test of time...

A cartridge, being an electro-mechanical device can add all manner of artifacts to the music... But adding the right artifacts is an art in itself... And that's what you're paying for, really... That's why I have a lot of respect for guys like Joe Grado, who I also met many years ago... He knows how to mechanically tweak a transducer to get a certain sound... And it's very subjective... But the end results can be astonishing when the process is put in the right hands... Or should I say, ears...   (m.)
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If a rabbit defined intelligence the way man does, then the most intelligent animal would be a rabbit, followed by the animal most willing to obey the commands of a rabbit. -Robert Brault, writer (b. 1938)
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will
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Posts: 1146
Re: Aural Memory...
Reply #4 - 07/10/12 at 03:48:25
 
Agreed. Synergy is the bottom line. And no matter the individual component or parts, each is voiced by someone, and has a specific signature relative to the sensibilities of the maker's view of music reproduction. My experience continues to indicate that only the gear carefully voiced by music freaks with really amazing ears is worth listening to, and often they do not meet the height of current technological "knowledge." Like my NOS , non-async DAC, my TUBE Torii, and the dirt cheap NOS paper in oil Russian caps I currently prefer. Pretty old technology, and by some standards, built in "distortions."

Then we each try to put our preferred pieces all together, adding our own subjective preferences to a myriad of parts including all the many cables, the power, the room, treatments, components, tubes, caps, vibration control, speakers...hopefully arriving at synergy. The complex of a system is sort of vast on consideration!

And maybe I got lucky, but my system/room sounds more like music than I have ever heard from a sound system. And there is no doubt in my mind that Steve Deckert and Bob Ziegler's efforts were instrumental in this, along with the hard work of other people with a similar passion and perspective for sorting out a brilliant musical experience from audio gear!
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« Last Edit: 07/10/12 at 18:08:43 by will »  

Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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marky
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Posts: 505
Re: Aural Memory...
Reply #5 - 07/11/12 at 14:25:03
 
The term " scary good " is something we`ve all heard in action at some point. I remember hearing it when Floyds " Animals " was being played through a friends LP 12 , Quad 303/33 and a pair of borrowed Yamaha NS 1000`s. Or when King Crimson performed Larks Tongues in Aspic, in London. When I auditioned my M Logan Aeron I`s the chap was using a 1960`s Garrard on a slate bed, as I sat down, a transient note went from my foot to the speaker in an instant, "wow that was quick" was all I could think of saying, and then I was priveledged to listen to a beguiling picture produced by this deck. I knew it was quality but half joked to him " thats a synchronos motor isn`t it, magnets and stuff ?, must be well old " It might have been a transcriptor for all I know. What I`m trying to add here is that yes, cartridges are intricate and above a price invite you to listen to their take on events but it`s the deck that conveys the soul further. I`m happy with my Radius/Nima modernist turntable but mm. - Syd.
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