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Does listing equipment help anything?

Victor Martell

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Over at Hoffmann someone tried to start a thread about ELO's early albums, pointing out their murkiness... which I kind of agree, all IMHO opinion, of course. As audio and hearing is subjective, I was genuinely interested in people's opinion, to see how many people agreed with me.

However, thread was closed until the OP listed their equipment. Really? I always thought that (now) requirement to be kind of silly. This is my argument:

"What are you gonna do with that? Are you going to run to your basement, get that exact same equipment from your infinite selection, set it up, play the album and see if you agree? Obviously not; people are gonna judge the opinion based on whatever little or lot know about that gear. They are gonna make judgements based on other reviews and most of all price. And on top of that, why not be consistent and require people to fill room dimensions, distributions, materials... maybe even a curve?"

IMHO and to be very conceited, I admit it all comes down to that curious thing, where audiophilia is the meeting point of pseudo-science and technology. Rattling off a list of gear and their supposed characteristics ( not measurements, of course, but things like "musical", "assertive" "polite - or not" ) makes them feel like this is a serious discipline.

Of course, suggestion to get rid of it gets people all huffy and puffy, with many reference to the desires of "our host" :D Which, granted, is true... his forums, his rules. That said, still silly IMHO. It is not the requirement that bothers me - it's the thinking behind it.
 
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DJNX

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The rationale behind this is that your opinion is not valid unless you can prove your setup is expensive enough.
You will never achieve anything with people that think like that, so don’t bother.

There is a guy in this forum, that makes comparisons of different releases of the same album, including waveforms and DR scores.
I think you’ll be interested in visiting his website.

About the specific subject of ELO’s album murkiness, that’s a bit more tricky. I haven’t listened to them, so I can’t comment.
For example, a lot of rock from the 90’s can sound very hollow and bright, because using Yamaha’s NS-10 as studio monitors became very popular among the audio engineer clique for that genre. And we now know those speakers were quite flawed. Maybe something similar happened with ELO’s albums.
 

Iving

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Hoffman is a mastering engineer, and his frontispiece Forum encourages discussion not so much about subjective SQ (cf. "audiophool") but about the respective merits of different masterings/issues of the same material/recording. The argument is that you aren't qualified to hold forth on such matters - especially vinyl records - if your equipment doesn't have your back. That's fair enough. Of course there are counter-arguments to equipment disclosure - and some Forum members find the pre-requisite somewhat Fascist.
 
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AdamG

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If this thread turns into a things I hate about other Forums…it will get closed. So make the conversation constructive please and let’s leave the “other forums” drama at other forums. ;)
 

G|force

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It can go both ways. If I say the high frequencies in a recording sound harsh and bright on my Genelec 8341's, some will summarily dismiss my subjective experience as the Genelec sound.
 

Iving

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On the whole the equipment requirement is not enforced unless a poster is pontificating about SQ.

The requirement doesn't so much qualify to opine as it does provide context for readers to interpret a point of view.

OP asks "does listing equipment help anything". I doubt very much that members inspect other members' Profiles all that often - and when they do it is to catch someone out with a Crosley. So the answer veers towards "Not much".
 

DonH56

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This is likely to go nowhere. I do not list my equipment in my sig, though I think there's a link to my post in the user's system thread. (Got tired of looking for it when people asked.) If there's a problem that may be component-related, it is worthwhile to ask what you have, but in general listing your system is only to provide background for the curious. (And ammunition for haters.) My equipment has been decent over the years, so when I say I don't like something and someone questions my equipment, then finds out it isn't half bad, they will move on to "must be your hearing, you don't have a live reference, you must not have enough listening experience, you do not know what to listen for" or some such. Nonproductive arguments ignoring physical reality and the tricks our ear/brain system plays on us. If there's a problem, measurements will show it, but those measurements often difficult to perform, for speakers would require being in the listener's home, require gear and equipment most common audiophiles do not posses, experience in reading and correlating those measurements, and above all a willingness to believe in the results. All of which can easily be obviated by the usual subjective aspersions and disbelief. Waste of time and effort.

To me listing anyone's system (mine included) is mainly to satisfy the curious and a reference for any problems or differences in perception. I like my system, don't really care if you would, and except for curiosity don't care about your system as long as you like yours. Since I am not a medical doctor, if you say you hear a problem, chances are I will ask about your equipment, room, and listening position to help find a cause rather than ask for the results of your last hearing or psychology test. You know, engineer stuff.
 

fatoldgit

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Surely the more relevant thing to list is a full range hear test conducted within the last year?... given the typical age of vinyl spinners and audiophiles in general ((i.e. complaining about say sibilance or rolled off top end when you cant hear above 10k).

And what about the room... the most important "component" in the playback chain... correctly treated or some bare shell. So surely you also need to list your room response graphs including RT60?

Of course the issue with vinyl is all the crap involved in selecting the table/arm combo and getting it setup correctly:

- the shape of arm (S, I & J)
- the bearing type (Uni-pivot Bearings, Gimbal Bearings, Linear Tracking Bearings, Double-blade Bearing etc)
- direct drive, belt drive, string drive, idler drive
- type of cart (MM. MC, MI, etc)
- arm to cartridge compliance
- stylus shape
- cantilever material
- vta
- sra
- tonearm alignment with some recognised standard (Stevenson, Baerwald etc)
- loading of cartridge esp MC's
- table leveling
- the mat you use
- the phone stage you use
- etc etc

Thus the permutations and combinations are so vast that even listing ones equipment doesnt help: how do you prove your vinyl rig is setup correctly so whatever album you are critiquing has its root cause issue in the vinyl itself and not your setup?

And what are the chances that someone else has the exact same setup to be able to say "no I dont hear that issue with that album".


Peter
 
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egellings

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If I am not familiar with the listed equipment, then I have no idea about the sound quality or other aspects of the equipment.
 

OldHvyMec

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Hmm! So you're on a site that requires you preface what you're hearing by the equipment you're using, the size of your room and
some information about the correction you're using. Am I close?

Maybe they really are trying to help you? Just a thought.

Regards
 

Chrispy

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I've never found the Hoffman forums worth spending much time in.
 
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Victor Martell

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Hmm! So you're on a site that requires you preface what you're hearing by the equipment you're using, the size of your room and
some information about the correction you're using. Am I close?

Maybe they really are trying to help you? Just a thought.

Regards

Well, they ONLY ask for an equipment list. What I am saying is that for that intended purpose that is not only impractical it is also not nearly enough. As per my OP, IMHO if they were serious about evaluating what you are hearing, room size and other info about your listening environment is must... and they again, they don't ask for it. So it's easy to conclude whatever the intentions, it will only lead to people dismissing opinions based on the price of the gear... IMHO

[edit]
Edit without deleting stuff! My bad - was going from memory and now after checking I see that they indeed ask for room size. At least it shows some consistency. Still, asking for speaker cables and interconnects and not for materials in your listening room, still jives with my problem with that: they are not asking for enough info for their intended purpose, while definitely allowing for price bias.
 
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fatoldgit

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On a side note, as someone who checks out SHF every day, anecdotally a significant percentage of equipment posts (60% at least) are related to some aspect of vinyl playback.

Similarly in the long running "post a photo of your listening room" thread, almost every system has a vinyl source, in many cases the only source.

So at least on that forum, vinyl is king.

I have at various times, for idle amusement, considered running "curl" against say the last 1000 pages of posts, grabbing the HTML, extracting the title of each post and categorizing it to provide a rational basis for my observation (i.e. determine the split between the broad equipment categories posted: amps, pre-amps, vinyl [arms, tables, carts, head amps lumped together], speakers, dacs, cables etc)

As its coming into winter down in KiwiLand, it might make a nice way to spend the winter nights... the hardest part will be categorizing a thread title asking something like "what do people think of the Kamakuza SD1000"... means I would need to hit the web to find out what a Kamakuza SD1000 is if I dont know.

Yep, I am a wild and crazy guy.

Peter

PS. Just to give you some idea, lets exact the titles from page 2 of SFM (see below).

Then write a parser to stick the titles into a database then tag each title entry against a category.

Some will be easy and automatic: might contain a keyword like "speaker" or "amp" or "DAC" but many will need me to manually assign the title to a category. Manual tagging in many cases will be easy: if I see "orbit" I know thats vinyl or "Wiim" its a streamer.

Once manually tagged it will be "sticky" in the sense that next time my parser sees that word combo it will auto tag. Its the equipment I am not familiar with (say Linn Lingo) that will need a search

curl "https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/forums/audio-hardware.5/page-2" > page2;cat page2 | grep "href" | grep "threads/" | grep preview | cut -d">" -f2


Does anyone have the Linn Lingo 4 installation manual</a
How to use a Marantz 2252 as preamp</a
First experience with Spin Clean: disappointed and confused</a
Primare DM36 DAC module</a
Strictly for fans of Audio Note UK (all things Audio Note UK) PART TWO</a
Struggling to calibrate turntable</a
Technics has a new entry-level turntable, the SL-100C</a
Axpona 2024 who is going and why?</a
New streamer - Wiim Pro Plus, $219</a
Can I ask: How many of you SACD fans still use first generation Sony SACD players?</a
Rumble noise from my phono</a
Recommendations for Desktop Passive Speakers</a
Anyone purchased from AliExpress.com ?</a
Rels T7Xs stereo subs frequency response</a
SONY UBP-X800 universal player</a
Searching for an amp...Chord?</a
Any Loricraft Fans?</a
U-Turn Audio introduces Orbit Theory</a
Thinking about trying reel to reel?</a
Graham Audio Chartwell LS6</a
Considering moving from a VPI Classic 2 to a Technics SL-1210G &quot;Grand Class&quot;. But...</a
Struggling with Turntable selection</a
What preamp are you using?</a
Show us the beauty inside...two favorite components</a

Triode Labs</a
 
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MattHooper

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If this thread turns into a things I hate about other Forums…it will get closed. So make the conversation constructive please and let’s leave the “other forums” drama at other forums. ;)

Dang. Someone brings up my biggest pet peeve about that forum and I can't say anything! Fun wrecker! :p
 

Ron Texas

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It's useless to list equipment since setup and room acoustics play a large role in how the system sounds. I gave up on Hoffman ages ago.
 

fatoldgit

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It's useless to list equipment since setup and room acoustics play a large role in how the system sounds. I gave up on Hoffman ages ago.

I find it fun to quickly parse the threads each day and look for the odd one or two that provide the promise for amusement (a cable thread, a thread about networking etc).

Whats the old sayings "know thy enemy" and "Keep your friends close; keep your enemies closer"

Peter
 

OldHvyMec

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At least it shows some consistency. Still, asking for speaker cables and interconnects and not for materials in your listening room, still jives with my problem with that: they are not asking for enough info for their intended purpose, while definitely allowing for price bias.
LOL, I would definitely tell them I was between cables at the time BUT

I don't have an issue with asking what type of playback gear you're using.

I can be a REAL SNOT, it's just not conducive to getting a question answered or not.

You know give a little and get a little, better yet PLAY the game and see if it
produces a result you can use without breaking the bank or the laws of physics.

In other words I would quit listening when it gets to "stand on your head, how does that sound."

We all have our limits, I suppose, standing on my head is my personal stopping point. LOL

What was the issue again? The room is causing your records to suck? Am I close?
I'm kidding of course, well maybe not. :) "pointing out their murkiness."

I'll ask this; does it sound that way on a CD?

I'm not familiar with REO per say. They might be in my collection, lets put it that, certainly not
a record I've played in the last 30 years, I'd remember. I remember playing the two albums
I have 40 years ago (close).

It might be why I don't listen to them, the lack of fidelity in the recording that you know should be there.
That always pisses me off. They sound better live than they can mix? That just doesn't seem possible to me
with all the goodies a recording/mixing studios have. Live events used to be fun, but the SQ sucked during
the 110db concerts I've been at. Deep Purple, Journey, and Black Sabbath come to mind.

They were murky all right because of the TP stuffed in my ear. Journey was the worst I've EVER heard, and
I went to a few early Ramon's events. My ears bled, they were so bad. They needed a bath too. :)

Be of good cheer, there is an answer to your question.

Regards
 

FrantzM

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Hi

I wouldn't find it all useless. My present system is inspired by @RayDunzl secondary system. I added a few things but it came to me when I realized that his LSR308 measured, well enough in his room , especially after EQ. He mentioned that he used the secondary system often..
I cannot stop extolling how good a pair of JBL LSR 308 (<$500/pair)+ a pair of Dayton Audio SUB-1500 (,$600/pair) can be. Of course EQ and DSP are (must be?) used.
So, yeah, equipment listing can be good.. My personal experience

Of course I also go to Audiogon forum for equipment listing and advices on speaker cables, grounding boxes and power cables
:p
NOT

Peace.
 
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