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ASR MEMBERS: What System Would YOU Choose To Blow Away Non-Audiophiles?

Kal Rubinson

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As a point of comparison, the first time I heard Revel Salon2s I knew they were special, though I didn't care for their aesthetics either. ;)
Same here. Memorable.
 

Galliardist

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I think my criteria would be:
  • a surround system attached to their TV so they can hear the improvement compared with what they have
  • completely hidden - best in wall speakers available and components hidden away also, so only a remote is needed
  • full range, or as close as can be managed without having to apply lots of room treatments

The thing is, that would be rather difficult to achieve. I only would want "much better", as well, not "blow away" because I don't think that is a realistic target. I want to show that you can do a lot without having to dominate a room with speakers as mine do.

Of course, if you live in an apartment as I do, such a system just gets banned for interfering with the building...
 

Bjorn

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Pareto Pragmatic

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I have lost count of the number who, when seeing my 'speakers, ask 'How many watts are those?' As if that mattered, but clearly does to them.

I get your frustration, really I do.

My answer would be, "Doesn't matter, because if I feed 20 watts into them it will make your ears bleed."

Redirecting wrong questions towards right questions comes in handy in a lot of contexts
 

Mart68

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Reviewing this thread, I can’t help but think most of us are missing the point and are trying to impress audiophile-wannabe friends who are actually willing to be impressed. So, thought experiment: imagine the target friend is someone one is attracted to sexually who one is trying to impress, but who is not interested in audio. I add the sexual component because then impressing them matters to us a lot more.

When impressing someone really is important it suddenly becomes easy to hear the system with their ears instead ours. And then the whole house of cards comes crashing down. Lots of people love music, but simply care not one whit how (or how well) it is produced. Stuff we think we notice is invisible to them. The realization of that can be like Truth descending upon us in one great crashing wave.

I’m reminded of Stanley Tibbets (played by Dudley Moore) in the movie Foul Play: “I’ve got it all,” spoken with decreasing conviction as he realizes his stuff isn’t making the impression he’d hoped it would.

The only satisfaction ASR types get is that the target paramours will roll their eyes even more on seeing foolishness like cable lifters and vacuum tubes.

Rick “cook them a great meal, and leave the sound level low” Denney
I have a rule about not dating women I work with, however there was one which I was prepared to make an exception for. She had just moved house and had no money and no TV. I said 'I have a spare TV you can have for nothing, come round and pick it up'

I reckoned that once I got her in my fully-functional babe lair she would be helpless against its powers.

Sadly, this was not the case. She turned up, I loaded the TV into her car, and off she went. In the brief time she was in the house she did spot the hi-fi, or at least the loudspeakers. Her comment?

'Are those loudspeakers? Why do they need to be so big? That's ridiculous.'
 

BDWoody

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'Are those loudspeakers? Why do they need to be so big? That's ridiculous.'

You learned all you needed to know before it cost you more than an old TV!

Whew...
 

BDWoody

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You don't like practical intelligent women? :D

Not those who say 'thanks for the free TV' by telling me my choices are worthy of ridicule. Maybe I set the bar too high... :cool:;)
 

bachatero

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My gym audio setup has blown away a few people when they're listening to their favorite songs. Given that it's literally nothing more than two PA speakers on high shelves and a fancy subwoofer, I'd say that what impresses non-audiophiles is simply a professional appearance and high quality bass. Note that PA speakers work fine as hifi speakers, it's just that they have more features that happen to line up with live sound requirements.
 

DMill

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Just turn up the crossover and volume on your subwoofer. You’ll be surprised how many people unfamiliar with hi-fi are blown away by your system. I know, thats cheating. :)
 

DonR

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My gym audio setup has blown away a few people when they're listening to their favorite songs. Given that it's literally nothing more than two PA speakers on high shelves and a fancy subwoofer, I'd say that what impresses non-audiophiles is simply a professional appearance and high quality bass. Note that PA speakers work fine as hifi speakers, it's just that they have more features that happen to line up with live sound requirements.
I had some homemade speakers powered by a Realistic PA amp in the 80s. It sounded pretty good to my untrained but young ears at reasonable listening levels.
 

bachatero

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Just turn up the crossover and volume on your subwoofer. You’ll be surprised how many people unfamiliar with hi-fi are blown away by your system. I know, thats cheating. :)
This is hilarious because I tried this for a little bit because the Muay Thai teachers love EDM at full blast. Unfortunately, after a week, this TOTL sub's 2KW amplifier couldn't take it anymore and decided to give up the ghost. Fortunately, I was able to return it and get a whole new one which I promptly turned down along with the other speakers for a nice safety factor while staying balanced.
 

fpitas

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raif71

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A setup that would literally "blow" away non-audiophiles lol. A "bomb" list is shown .
 

Ajax

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So my question is:

If you had the power to have an article written, in which the author and other non-audiophiles were introduced to high end audio, AND were given listening experiences to see what it's all about, to impress them: what type of gear would you talk about and want to demonstrate?

Cost is no object, dream up whatever system you'd think would wow the subjects and demonstrate what can be done. So it's your chance to represent High End Audio in an article, what do you choose?
Hi Matt,

I often demonstrate my system to non audiophiles and they are always suitably impressed, and none of them realised great sound was so affordable. e.g.

Sonos Connect > SMSL SU 8 DAC > Buckeye Hypex 252 amp > B&W AM01 speakers > Velodyne sub

This is my patio system (minimal reflections) and it blows them away. The DAC has balanced out to the amp and RCA out to the sub. The B&W speakers run full range with the crossover on the second hand 12" sub set at 65hz. Total Cost = US$1,750

My personal goal is to educate and help my friends enjoy their music so IMO there is no point demonstrating systems where "Cost is no object .... " i.e. which are out of their reach financially. If I was to demonstrate something for their living room say it would need to be SOTA with DSP, plenty of power and plenty of bottom end, e.g.

minidsp Flex > SMSL SU8 DAC > Apollon Hypex NCX 500 amp > Revel M105 speakers > 2 x SVS SB 2000 sub

Total Cost = US$4,000

For a smaller room I would replace the amp and speakers with active ADAM TV5 and Topping or SMSL DAC. Total Cost < $1,000.

Audio has never been in a better place - we are spoilt for choice and there are plenty of ways to skin the cat - life's good.

Edit: changed Total Cost of Adam TV5 system to < $1,000
 
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wunderkind

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In my younger days, I used to flip audio gear for profit. It was a bit of a hobby and side hustle. I've all sorts of mid to hi-fi gear gone through my home (think my wife lost track what's what). From Marantz to Rotel to Yamaha. From B&Ws to Focal to Martin Logans. Anything and everything that I felt has good margins I'd pick up, fix it up, re-dress and sell. No real attachment to them. Money talks BS walks.

Naturally folks would come for a demo. These usually aren't the Bose or Sonos crowd. Choice of music recording was key to the success of closing deals for me. It's always a thrill to see the buyer's facial expression change to that of wonderment. As if a veil was lifted from their eyes or in this case... ears.

These days, I don't feel any need to "blow" my non-audiophile friends away. I have an acoustically treated 14'x21' audio room that is private for pure music listening experience. I don't make any effort to show anyone unless asked. Funny enough my now teenage kids sometime "flex" (Gen Z term?) to their friends by showing this listening room but never touch anything. The home theatre room is more accessible and I have heard comments about "why even bother going to the cinema" or the good old husband pleading eyes to the wife's rolling eyes.
 
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