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Thread: What kind of sound system do you listen to?

          
   
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  1. #136
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    Ok, I get the discussion about headphones. As I, too, live alone, I don't use them at home. But, since it is way more civilized to have music while walking, they are a critical piece of equipment.

    That said, I was a little sceptical about my latest purchase, since I have trouble with earbuds fitting my ears and staying in place. I tried them out in my local Apple store, jumping up and down and otherwise making a scene, and failed to displace them from my ears. The real appeal is that, while traveling, their amazing portability is a winner. Btw, headphones sound better, but I can wear a hat with these while walking:


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  3. #137
    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amco2000 View Post
    I am both an enthusiastic audiophile system builder, but also an avid live concert and opera goer. This is not so common, as most audiophiles seem to prefer listening to and admiring their systems (components) rather than focussing on the music, and many if not most do not attend live events.
    Reviewing my many years of adventures building high quality stereo systems, gradually evolving into the latest digital surround sound technology, I have come to some conclusions that only recently have I verbalized in simple terms:

    1. there is a tendency for the highest quality stereo systems to create artificially "high definition" images, that indeed can cause disappointment when attending live performances, with the irony that live events may be considered inferior. 101 excuses reign ... the bad acoustics of the concert hall, the bad location of the seat etc. etc. But the bottom line is that the high $$$ audiophiles indeed often worship larger than life sound images - where the ultimate irony is that these sound images may be quite false. To each his own, taste is taste, no problem, but the term "High Fidelity" appears to be displaced by "My Fidelity" reproduction.

    2. the counterbalance to this predicament is good surround sound. Particularly for the large-scale stage presentations of opera, I believe that "good" surround sound systems can produce much more persuasive "High Fidelity" reproduction than "superlative" stereo systems. It all depends upon personal goals, but as a dedicated concert goer, live music is my gold standard, and so facts are facts: in a concert or opera hall, most of the sound is indirect (excepting maybe the front row or two). Meanwhile, most high end stereo systems present a torrent of direct sound in your face. Rather like the difference between bathing luxuriating in a generous shower of gentle water versus being hit in the face by a torrent from a fire hose.

    Conclusion: more and more I appreciate fine SACD, DVD and Bluray surround sound presentations, and most all older CDs I play using the NEO:6 surround simulation. A specific advantage is that I can walk around my entire spacious lounge/dining room and bask in satisfying sound, rather like in the different seats of a concert hall, without fussing about sitting in a hot-spot for precise stereo imaging, or else miss out on too much of the supposed quality.

    In summary, surround sound is the final evolution if not revolution in High Fidelity reproduction. With new technology emerging for large flat screen TVs, the complement of surround sound has been lagging as the technical and aesthetic requirements for good installations have not attracted the general public. However, new technology emerging including the latest upmarket sound-bars is gradually catching up, and of course high end systems with surround sound, though they still maybe somewhat unwieldy, are just stupendous.

    My final word is for headphones - much too artificial for me: as when you turn your head, the concert hall turns with you. Headphones can indeed offer incredible high definition sound for a fraction of the cost of an upmarket stereo system, but they are even further removed from my gold standard of live sound. Live sound, particularly for large scale symphonic works, organs, and rock concerts, has a full-body tactile component that headphones totally lack. OK, there 101 convenience issues that I cannot deny, but for the realistic enjoyment of music headphones also take a back seat to good surround sound. In more technical terms, the psychoacoustics of headphone sound is quite artificial, rather like reading a book with a magnifying glass. AMEN.

    Looking forward to comments by surround sound music lovers...
    Hi, amco2000, welcome to Opera Lively, so nice to have a new member from Peru!!!

    Your appraisal of these technologies is very interesting, thanks for posting.

    I agree with you. I have a relatively nice set-up (at least for me; it's mid-level, not high-end but good enough for me), with a 7.1 surround system hooked up to a Yamaha receiver, and two blu-ray players, one for discs made for the American market, and one for European ones. I am satisfied with it, since I'm not a huge audiophile, and like you said, I enjoy the full-body experience that a good surround system delivers.

    My wife doesn't like loud sounds so I need headphones when she is home, so I use a Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphone that again, for my non-high-end needs, I find quite appropriate and convenient because I can hook it up by Bluetooth to my TV, or wired to my receiver for better quality.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

  4. #138
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    Ok, I get the discussion about headphones. As I, too, live alone, I don't use them at home. But, since it is way more civilized to have music while walking, they are a critical piece of equipment.

    That said, I was a little sceptical about my latest purchase, since I have trouble with earbuds fitting my ears and staying in place. I tried them out in my local Apple store, jumping up and down and otherwise making a scene, and failed to displace them from my ears. The real appeal is that, while traveling, their amazing portability is a winner. Btw, headphones sound better, but I can wear a hat with these while walking:
    Those look .... interesting.

    I just got some Bose headphones and they grimly stay in my ear whatever I do:

    Natalie

  5. #139
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    A waiting-room-period coming up later today.

    I am looking at a couple of cd's that I would like to listen to (yes Bach's cantata's are in there) and also looking at my i-pod. I'm then wondering how I got music from one to the other.


  6. #140
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I'm glued to this space to see how this all turns out!

    It's going to get worse when iPods go-away. I'm going to keep mine in my safe deposit box.

  7. #141
    Opera Lively Moderator Top Contributor Member Soave_Fanciulla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I'm glued to this space to see how this all turns out!

    It's going to get worse when iPods go-away. I'm going to keep mine in my safe deposit box.
    Aargh. I really would not want to get dependent on any kind of streaming service! Too much uncertainty about internet reliability which seems to elude me, not to mention the exorbitant cost of mobile data. Also streaming services never give you adequate info about casts, singer, composers etc, aria names, acts etc.
    Natalie

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  9. #142
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    A waiting-room-period coming up later today.

    I am looking at a couple of cd's that I would like to listen to (yes Bach's cantata's are in there) and also looking at my i-pod. I'm then wondering how I got music from one to the other.

    This is a lot more complicated then I remember. Somewhere between buying this i-pod and now I seem to have gotten stupider. Trying to get 5 recordings from CD to i-pod now and I have about 24hours to figure it out.

  10. #143
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Clayton's Avatar
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    It took a long time but all good now. Campra, Vinci and Cavalli out, Rameau, Handel and Bach are in.

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  12. #144
    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    This is a lot more complicated then I remember. Somewhere between buying this i-pod and now I seem to have gotten stupider. Trying to get 5 recordings from CD to i-pod now and I have about 24hours to figure it out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
    It took a long time but all good now. Campra, Vinci and Cavalli out, Rameau, Handel and Bach are in.
    I'm pleased you've got it sorted and you're not stupid. I couldn't cope with i-tunes and i-pods as have enough trouble with my little Sony mp3.

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