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bthylafh
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Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 7:58 pm

Audiophile buys his own utility transformer for cleaner electricity.

“Now, it feels like Queen is in this room, just for me,” he says, playing vinyl, a medium that literally decays every play. I wonder what his ears’ 82-year-old frequency-response curve would measure as.

This is actually not a new form of audiophile woo. Apart from other people doing this in Japan (where there’s literally a magazine, Power Sources & Accessories, devoted to the field), the Hacker News discussion lists other examples, e.g. a separate transformer to feed a system costing four times as much as the house it lives in. Sounded amazing, but.


...at at least a couple orders of magnitude more money than a good sinewave UPS. I think this is the most audiophool thing I've ever heard of.
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whm1974
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:10 pm

Sounds like being a Audiophile is a form of OCD.
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:14 pm

Dude, if in 2016 you have people saying that the Earth is flat, then of course you'll have people saying that "cleaner" power == better sound. :)
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:16 pm

It's actually a term:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.p ... %20nervosa
I wonder if people actually spent 100 grand or more on audio equipment?
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:02 pm

Oh dear.

I was first introduced to audiophilia nervosa in 1985 when I left college and came to live in a town that (then) could support 2 competing high-end stereo shops. I've been a subscriber to Stereophile since 1986 and have read many nervosa articles and reviews. The canonical definition of the syndrome is (using audio reviewer language) "the eternal tristesse between the limpid character of the cables when lying on the floor compared to the vibrant & muscular character when elevated on Shun-Mook's Mpingo discs".

I've paid to read this crap for 30 years only because every year they have one poor soul whose job is to rumble around in the real world and note those bits of gear that punch far above their price tags. They keep doing it and I'm eternally grateful. The rest of it is best read on the "thinkn' stool".
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:05 pm

Captain Ned wrote:

I've paid to read this crap for 30 years only because every year they have one poor soul whose job is to rumble around in the real world and note those bits of gear that punch far above their price tags.  They keep doing it and I'm eternally grateful. 

 It's why I bought My Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 Signature Pre-Amp,
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:32 pm

PenGun wrote:
 It's why I bought My Sonic Frontiers SFL-1 Signature Pre-Amp,

And it's why I have a Parasound pre into a NAD amp instead of the Krells or Levinsons I'd thought I might have someday.
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:02 pm

I have a coworker who has five-figure investments in his stereo. Thankfully, his quest for cleaner power stopped at installing a 5 kVA toroid wound 1:1 with buck and boost taps, and feeding a couple dedicated outlets for the stereo menagerie. I think he wired the low side at +2% to account for droop in the incoming mains voltage. Not tremendously expensive and provides a useful function.
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:24 pm

While I can the difference between "*"-Mart El-Cheapo speakers and decent ones, past a few hundred dollars I no longer notice.   
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:39 pm

whm1974 wrote:
I wonder if people actually spent 100 grand or more on audio equipment?

10's of thousands I'd imagine.

You can get several components that are more than a 100 grand.  There are even pairs of loudspeakers that cost more than a million.
It's a luxury hobby, and it probably makes more sense than something like luxury/collectible watches or exotic/collectible cars.  The difference from those is that you are more likely to spend more time with your hobby - and both of those other hobbies can actually cost a lot more.

Still though, a really good battery and conditioner makes more sense than improving the power to the house, better result and a lot less money.  HOWEVER, that might not have been an option: a large battery array may not be allowed for the local area.
Last edited by CScottG on Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:46 pm

Never understood the silliness of "audiophile" setups. What happened to enjoying the music for what it is? There's a massive difference between an audiophile and a music enthusiast.
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:04 am

Krogoth wrote:
Never understood the silliness of "audiophile" setups. What happened to enjoying the music for what it is? There's a massive difference between an audiophile and a music enthusiast.

I'd venture that most audiophile setups are all about improving the experience of listening to favored music - not a really silly pursuit.

Of course a portion of these people are more about sampling music just to hear an improved level of reproduced performance, and yeah: I also think that's silly; "cart before the horse" sort of thing.


BTW, once you've actually heard much better audio reproduction (which doesn't have to expensive) - it can become something of an obsessive pursuit to achieve a similar result or to even better that result.
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:24 am

CScottG wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
I wonder if people actually spent 100 grand or more on audio equipment?

10's of thousands I'd imagine.

Heck, you can spend 15K just on a phono cartridge! (And if you're dropping that kind of cash on just the phono cartridge, it sure ain't going into any sort of mass-market stereo system.)

Krogoth wrote:
Never understood the silliness of "audiophile" setups. What happened to enjoying the music for what it is? There's a massive difference between an audiophile and a music enthusiast.

On the flip side, if you're listening on sub-par equipment, you may not be *hearing* all of the music for what it is.

Poor high frequency response? You lose the sizzle of the cymbals and the upper overtones of the higher pitched instruments. Poor low frequency response? You lose the punch of the bass and drums, because *all* you're hearing are the upper overtones of those instruments, leaving your brain to extrapolate the missing fundamental tones. Excessive distortion? You're not hearing what was actually recorded.

But yeah, beyond a certain point it definitely crosses the line into diminishing (or non-existent) returns and OCD.
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:15 am

CScottG wrote:
BTW, once you've actually heard much better audio reproduction (which doesn't have to expensive) - it can become something of an obsessive pursuit to achieve a similar result .......



How about copying said better audio reproduction? Especially if it is cheap. Seems to me that there is a lot of of "one-up-manship" in play here. /shrug
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:19 am

tanker27 wrote:
Especially if it is cheap. Seems to me that there is a lot of of "one-up-manship" in play here.


Cheapskates can't hear the color of the conductor's tie, now can they?

(It's a really, rich, warm, verdant, with earthy 'undertones')
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:32 am

A thought experiment I performed in the "Grado" thread:

viewtopic.php?p=1310661#p1310661
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:33 am

Glorious wrote:
Cheapskates can't hear the color of the conductor's tie, now can they?

(It's a really, rich, warm, verdant, with earthy 'undertones')

But the next upgrade will let me know what brand of hand-rolled 100% recycled TP she uses.
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:36 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Glorious wrote:
Cheapskates can't hear the color of the conductor's tie, now can they?

(It's a really, rich, warm, verdant, with earthy 'undertones')

But the next upgrade will let me know what brand of hand-rolled 100% recycled TP she uses.


LOL, both of you......
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:44 am

From time to time I check the 'StereoPiles' recommended list.  It led me to the Dragonfly (a keeper). It is worth a look and always some shakes of the head.

My early 1980s Thiel 2s, Krell PAM5 preamp and 2 Denon monoamps still throw great soundstage and clean sound off a Cambridge audio DAC - without special plugs, magic isolators, etc.   But flacs sound so much better than 320 mp3s the source does matter - most of the time.

It does pay to buy good stuff and hold on to it.  But - the good stuff is what floats your personal boat well enough.

I cop to some OCD, but in audio its your ears and heart that count.  Hopefully one can get into a great tune played on phone speakers too.
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:32 pm

My $2K+ Integra (Onkyo) amp died.  I replaced it with a place-holder $400-ish refurbished receiver from a Club Onkyo special several years ago and I haven't felt the need to get the expensive thing fixed.  The equivalent model goes for $480 (refurb) today:
https://www.shoponkyo.com/detail.cfm?pr ... &ext_war=1

I am still driving Infinity Crescendo speakers.  The EMIT-R tweeters definitely reveal any flaws in the source material.
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:17 pm

..it's funny, sort of started as a anti-audiophile thread but many of the posters are basically audiophiles (..though not the super-pricey stuff of today).  

The sad part is that a LOT of the stuff produced today sounds worse than what was produced 20 years ago at still expensive (though not ludicrous) prices (..though that's a relative comparison).  I can say that bass in general has improved over that time, but it's hard to beat some of the classic designs overall.  Magnepan 3.whatever is still being produced because it's still one of the best speakers ever produced and while the price has gone up considerably, its inflation isn't absurd (..and particularly "good" value when compared to the market of loudspeakers selling for a lot more).

I miss Apogee speakers (when low-passed). The Theta III is still one of the best DAC's I've ever heard. That SF preamp (already mentioned).  Krell when they produced pure class A amps. Honestly, the used market has to be a relative gold-mine of good reproduction.. as long as it's been properly refurbished.

I personally went DIY about 20 years ago, so while the nervosa might be there - it's mutated and "twitching" in a different direction.
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:32 pm

CScottG wrote:
..it's funny, sort of started as a anti-audiophile thread but many of the posters are basically audiophiles (..though not the super-pricey stuff of today).

IMO the difference is that some people really do care about quality sound, and are willing to go further than most (but still within reason) in pursuit of it. Then you have the lunatics who have more money than brains, and will convince themselves that things like $1,000 AC power cords made with silver wire actually make an audible difference.
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:07 pm

I've tried pretty hard not to become an audiophile... but I finished building my own floor speakers last year...

I based them off of the "Dayton D8" design found around the internet. They sound fantastic to me, especially for the money I have into them. Pretty sure I kept it under $350 for all the supplies for the pair... not counting the router and clamps of course, but those will be used to many other things. Considering I ended up plating them with brass to do something "different", the end price was pretty good (the metal alone cost over $60). I did 95% of the work myself, and its really the only wood working project of any significance that I've ever done. Most of the assembly was done indoors in my office before moving, since I didn't have a shop or garage. Most of the cutting and sanding was done either on a picnic table or on saw horses. I cut the brass sheeting with a utility knife and had to use gloves to bend it to break it in a straight(ish) line. Then I hand-nailed all of the brass nails all the way around it.... and its likely that none of that made any improvement to the sound, but it made them mine. :)

The funny thing is, I'm running them off of a JVC 817VTN receiver that I picked up on the curb (set out with my neighbor's trash) a few years back. It worked perfectly for years until the volume pot broke, but I managed to fix that with quicksteel.

Once a person realizes that the location and environment in which you use your speakers can wreak havoc on all of the fancy audiophile terms that people go on about... there's no longer much of a reason to spend tons of money on better amplifiers and DACs and such until you get the environment perfect. Their current location is the only place I can put them for the time being, so I'll just have to deal with reflections and hugely variable bass response depending on my location in the room (it is an attic apartment in a 100 year old house with hard wood floors and 10 foot vaulted ceilings).

Don't get me wrong, if someone let me borrow an actual real "high end" amplifier, pre-amp, DAC and all that business, I'd totally be up for an A\B test, even in this environment on my home-built speakers... but for now these things sound as good as I imagine they can in this environment.

I originally built them to save space, if you can believe that. I wanted a massive frequency response without needing a sub woofer. Floor standers were my best bet, and this design was intended to go quite low and yet remain clear with a minimal amount of parts (and expense). Mine are shorter and deeper than the original design... since I had access to pre-cut sheets of 3/4 inch 9-ply wood for free. I don't have the equipment to test my particular setup (and again, the environment would make it meaningless) but according to the modeling I did they should have an F3 of 30Hz. To my ears they sound wonderful and they provide that "movie theater" bass feel I've always loved, which I thought was impossible without a dedicated subwoofer (I was always around cars with huge subwoofers installed, going back to the early '90s). Light years better than my old Pioneer CS99 floor speakers, and better than any other system's I've heard myself... but I don't know any audiophiles personally. ;)
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:52 pm

just brew it! wrote:
CScottG wrote:
..it's funny, sort of started as a anti-audiophile thread but many of the posters are basically audiophiles (..though not the super-pricey stuff of today).

IMO the difference is that some people really do care about quality sound, and are willing to go further than most (but still within reason) in pursuit of it. Then you have the lunatics who have more money than brains, and will convince themselves that things like $1,000 AC power cords made with silver wire actually make an audible difference.


Yeah. There's spending a few grand on a hobby and getting measurable gains, and then there's spending more than a good car for zero objective improvement. The thread started as a way to mock the latter, but as tends to happen on the Internet it mutated.
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:45 am

Well there's not really much to say about the guy who installed his own utility pole aside from 'wow that's silly' before it's time to move on.

Reading about other TR readers' audio setups, and arguing where to draw the line between audiophile and audiophool is much more interesting. :D
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:53 am

jihadjoe wrote:
Well there's not really much to say about the guy who installed his own utility pole aside from 'wow that's silly' before it's time to move on.

Reading about other TR readers' audio setups, and arguing where to draw the line between audiophile and audiophool is much more interesting. :D

I probably qualify as TR Forum's resident audiophile, but until someone asks, I'm not going into details about my setup.
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:44 am

Acidicheartburn wrote:
jihadjoe wrote:
Well there's not really much to say about the guy who installed his own utility pole aside from 'wow that's silly' before it's time to move on.

Reading about other TR readers' audio setups, and arguing where to draw the line between audiophile and audiophool is much more interesting. :D

I probably qualify as TR Forum's resident audiophile, but until someone asks, I'm not going into details about my setup.

I'd say we have more than one, judging from comments others have made over the years.

Edit: And judging by the activity of the forums overnight, I'd say there may be a correlation between people who have an interest in audio and people with insomnia (or at least odd sleep schedules). We have THREE active audio-related threads right now... :lol:
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:49 am

There are a wealth of opportunities available to feed an "Audiophile Addiction" * but this one's pretty much guaranteed legit because it's on the internet:   Machina Dynamica's Brilliant Pebbles.

From the web page:
"The fundamental operating principle of Brilliant Pebbles involves a number of atomic mechanisms in the crystals. Brilliant Pebbles will enhance the performance of your audio system so your favorite music and even your experience playing online fantasy games will become a mind blowing auditory experience."

And Brilliant Pebbles are remarkably simple to implement. All one needs to transform any auditory experience is a roll of scotch tape:

Image

Brilliant Pebbles come in a variety of crystal sizes & are available in pre-packaged quantities, with prices ranging from $29.00 up to $129.00 per packet. Be assured that all packets are prepared to exacting specifications "... employing a number of highly-specialized, proprietary techniques in the preparation/assembly of Brilliant Pebbles to enhance the crystals' inherent characteristics."

So with this accessory we're harnessing not only the power of crystals, but atomic forces too! The only thing missing is pyramids ... which gives me an idea ...

* (There really needs to be a support group; maybe call it A.A. or something.)
 
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:57 am

It's got to be special tape also though doesn't it? :p
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Re: Audiophilia nervosa

Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:05 am

At least the $500 wooden knob for your volume control looked nice.

http://bobbyowsinski.blogspot.com/2012/ ... -knob.html (original site that was selling it seems to be long gone, go figure)
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