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Describe your decisive experience that completely changed your view of audiophilia with a comment.

I joined PSB in 1980, and part of my training was visiting National Research Council Canada, where Paul designed speakers using the anechoic chamber there, then conducting the rather new double-blind-screen listening tests that Dr. Floyd Toole, its resident guru, had devised. My beloved KEF 105s were beaten by a speaker a fifth the cost, and I have only trusted scientific, repeatable results since.
 
Yep. To find a forum for audiophiles and music lovers who stand up to bullshit - it wasn't a revelation, but a very welcome breath of fresh air in this hobby for me.
Before I found this forum I was happy with my equipment, but didn't really understand what this is about. After some months surfing here, I decided to sell all my previous gear, literally all of it, and build from scratch my two systems based on recommendations here. So, honestly, discovering this site made a bigger difference than any equipment in particular.

Were I doscovered hifi? At home, when I was a kid, because my mother had an old system that showed me that not all speakers sound the same, and she more or less taught me to appreciate good sound.
 
One day I got hold of a Roon test license. I got it running and I was not expecting something special but a miracle happened: suddenly all of my music sounded so much clearer and more beautiful. I had more than an hour of audiophile bliss.
But the experience that changed my perspective came the next day when I tried to pin down what exactly was different by switching between Roon and Airplay what I normally use. But the magic was gone. There was no audible difference.
So, be careful when testing out new stuff: even if you think you’re a skeptic you still can fool yourself.
One day I added Roon to my system and I actually got an entirely new record collection, or at least a larger one. :)
I set mine up to be bit perfect and it sounded exactly like playing a comparable CD on my CD player (since I am using the same DAC for both).

I do know what you mean though... it is a pretty well known phenomenon in the "audiophile" world, insert a small change and the brain gets excited and refocuses its attention causing that "whole new record collection" syndrome. I imagine we have all heard it. Understanding it is something else.
 
1 Hearing klipschorns for the first time in early 1970’s.
2 Playing with eq and crossover design using a Minidsp 2x4 hd.
 
I heard fingernails during obligatory Liszt glissandos while listening to a CD that I'd owned for ten years.

I guess that performance was close-mic recorded! It's what persuaded me there was value in "entry level" hifi gear over cheap (or expensive) tat.
 
In an earlier post in this thread I shared how the advent of the cd player in the eighties was an epiphany for me. Well decades later I discovered streaming and here is the setup that got me started. It sounded better than you might think. I've moved on to a much better setup but this got me in the game for less than fifty bucks. I've ripped all my cds to flac and have retired my cd players. With my NAS, Tidal and internet radio I have all the music I will ever need. I love progress.

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I can't remember the song but the actual reality of a triangle struck note from Joni Mitchell's Ladies of the Cayon album that decided the purchase of my first proper speakers Magnepan SMG's, it was so real I can still hear it now fourty years on.
 
I had a very similar experience and take away from my experience with the Harman speaker shuffler...

It turned out that the honker was a Martin Logan 10" woofer hybrid electrostat

Sound pressure level falls off by 6 dB 3 dB (oops, thanks @Blumlein 88!) per doubling of distance for a line source (which the panel approximates), and by 3 dB 6 dB per doubling of distance from a point source (which the woofer approximates). Thus the spectral balance of a hybrid electrostat changes with distance, therefore unless the relative level of woofer and panel can be adjusted to account for this, it's quite possible to end up with poor in-room balance between woofer and panel. I suspect this contributed to the poor performance of the Martin Logans in Harman's shuffler room.
 
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Sound pressure level falls off by 6 dB per doubling of distance for a line source (which the panel approximates), and by 3 dB per doubling of distance from a point source (which the woofer approximates). Thus the spectral balance of a hybrid electrostat changes with distance, therefore unless the relative level of woofer and panel can be adjusted to account for this, it's quite possible to end up with poor in-room balance between woofer and panel. I suspect this contributed to the poor performance of the Martin Logans in Harman's shuffler room.
I think you have your 6 db and 3 db in the wrong locations.

My sighted listening of M-Ls with woofers is they were humped (like a bit too high a Q maybe around 1.2), and made the bass sound sluggish and always behind the panel. In fact they sounded about like you would expect looking at the Stereophile measurement of the SL3. Like a panel someone had stuck a woofer on and not made it mesh very well.

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I think you have your 6 db and 3 db in the wrong locations.

My sighted listening of M-Ls with woofers is they were humped (like a bit too high a Q maybe around 1.2), and made the bass sound sluggish and always behind the panel. In fact they sounded about like you would expect looking at the Stereophile measurement of the SL3. Like a panel someone had stuck a woofer on and not made it mesh very well.

View attachment 243587
Interesting notion about the line array and point source attributes. The listening distance for the shuffler was a bit further than many home set ups, but probably not significantly. Regarding that FR plot... it pretty much aligns with what I was hearing. If you want a speaker to sound like a squawker, put a peak around 1KHz.
 
Interesting notion about the line array and point source attributes. The listening distance for the shuffler was a bit further than many home set ups, but probably not significantly. Regarding that FR plot... it pretty much aligns with what I was hearing. If you want a speaker to sound like a squawker, put a peak around 1KHz.
Here is a response of a large panel Soundlab A1. It isn't uncommon for large panels to have a diaphragm resonance to extend the low end. Spacing against the wall can mitigate or smooth that out. My guess is M-L was trying for the same response with a cone woofer to keep a big panel sound. I do think the different interaction of a point source woofer vs a dipole and the room made it sound different. M-L's CLS had a similar hump in the low end with a bit of dip in the lower midrange. Measures of newer M-L's show less of such a hump so they should sound better.

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Here is a Quad 2805 which is basically a modern ESL63. All these are from Stereophile.
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Describe your decisive experience that completely changed your view of audiophilia with a comment.

A classmate had found a pair of used German (Siemens?, Klangfilm?) studio monitors. I was completely surprised that out of our old records came a completely new sound dimension with "distortion-free" high volume and a hard firm bass.
This was the starting point for a lifelong journey of pleasure.
Steve Guttenberg, negatively. Mea culpa for paying any attention.
 
My major audiophile revelations:
  • DSP & Room Correction
  • UMIK-1 and REW
  • Room Treatments
  • ASR
Those 4 things, by far, have had the biggest impact for me.
 
Steve Guttenberg, negatively. Mea culpa for paying any attention.
Well you say that, but it was Steve Guttenberg's review of the B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition speakers that convinced me to buy a pair. I brought them home all excited, but then once I set them up I absolutely hated them and was incredibly disappointed. I had no idea why I disliked them so much, so I dug deeper and landed on the review of them here on ASR, which was my introduction to this site.

Don't get me wrong, I'll never take his advice again, but I'm thankful he convinced me to by speakers that I hated. All it cost me was a trip to Best Buy and back, so no harm no foul, and now I have some Revel's that I love.
 
My sighted listening of M-Ls with woofers is they were humped (like a bit too high a Q maybe around 1.2), and made the bass sound sluggish and always behind the panel. In fact they sounded about like you would expect looking at the Stereophile measurement of the SL3. Like a panel someone had stuck a woofer on and not made it mesh very well.

View attachment 243587
A few years ago I listened to a demo of the Martin Logan ESL 15 at my local dealer. It was demoed by a sales person from ML who said that he had adjusted the level of the woofer with measurements. It was the worst overblown boomy bass I've ever heard, like the peak in the FR above but +10 dB higher. I and another listener complained and the sales man reduced the bass level by 6 dB but it was still too much and boomy. And this is their flagship!

OTOH I once listened to the old CSL 1. The mid bass was kind of boomy and low bass was missing, but over all the experience was quite special (incredible resolution, highs and soundstage).
 
A few years ago I listened to a demo of the Martin Logan ESL 15 at my local dealer. It was demoed by a sales person from ML who said that he had adjusted the level of the woofer with measurements. It was the worst overblown boomy bass I've ever heard, like the peak in the FR above but +10 dB higher. I and another listener complained and the sales man reduced the bass level by 6 dB but it was still too much and boomy. And this is their flagship!

OTOH I once listened to the old CSL 1. The mid bass was kind of boomy and low bass was missing, but over all the experience was quite special (incredible resolution, highs and soundstage).
Same experience I've had with them. The CLS was flawed in lots of ways, but still mesmerizing to listen to for awhile. If I had owned them, it might have become too constraining over time.
 
Excellent thread, many thanks @Neuro
Hard to pick a moment/experience there were quite a lot. So I just chose something I read today

"... there is a tendency at present to give reproduction [quality] more attention than it deserves"

Well said and very "at present". Does not sound that special but it might reach 'epiphany' level when you learn that it's about people tinkering with the sound quality of.. gramophones. In 1923!
 
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