The Mike Moffat (#2 at Schiit) Blog

Discussion in 'Schiit' started by baldr, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. baldr

    baldr Schiit-sterer

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    Well, since I am a fan of a lot of musical genres (and a deadhead as well), I like to start out with quotes from lyrics:

    "Twenty thousand roads I’ve been down, down, down……..and they all lead me straight back home to you. (Gram Parsons)"

    Yup, two channel can be really good… The best of analog, for the two minutes of listening you get for every hour of fucking with it, OMFG. The problem with analog is that much analog, as practiced in 2017, really sux. It’s just that the returns are slim. I’m not talking $3000.00 carts and dollar quantitative stuff – I’m talking sweat equity and tweaks in cart geometry, anti-skating adjustments sounding different in different parts of the record, cart alignment, VTA, tweak, retweak, and most of all know when to quit when you’re behind – that is less than some unreachable level of perfect adjustment yet ineffable ecstasy nonetheless. Besides, digital is getting beyond really good and one fuck of a lot easier.

    But I get way ahead of myself. I started this thread to yak about my experiences with two channel speaker systems since I set up my first system at the age of 11 at the dawn of stereo LPs. I had to save up for over a year to get that system by mowing lawns but it was worth every penny of the almost one hundred and thirty bucks it cost me which was a fortune back then. (Although the dollars were still real silver.)

    <<Damn, lost my train of thought listening to the coda of Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstacy – holy schiit – goosebumps – and yeah, I’m listening to digits right now through my usual suspects collection of work gear with the inclusion of a new deal we should have out early in the year – tease, tease>>

    Anyway, it was my first system – my parents let me set it up in the den – it was a knight-kit KG-250 amp, a Garrard Model 40 record changer, an Empire 880 cart, and a pair of (I can’t remember the model number) Knight Speakers. Back then, 45 rpm records were a buck, LP records were 3 bucks for mono or 4 for stereo, which made getting the music relatively expensive in the context of today. We had a record store called Wallach’s Music City where you could listen before you bought. This, in an era of no on demand servers, only the luck of the draw on radio, was a very big deal. The only problem was they charged a buck more per record, so I would listen there and buy at the discount places. My only income was moving lawns, as I was too young even for a paper route back then.

    My system was stereo, it played music, and it was wonderful, at least for a while until I started listening critically. (Sound familiar?) There was this other guy who had a stereo in school; he was really nerdy and he listened to classical(!). His name was Dennis and he had a mono (chuckle, sniff) system. So he told me he wanted to hear his amp on my system and could he bring it over. “Sure”, I said. The day came, and he had a paper route bike that he could haul anvils, much less mono tube amps. (He was a year older.)

    Well, his mono tube amp killed my stereo solid state on any kind of music, especially his fucking classical (which I was starting to like). So there I was, waiting for my 12th birthday so I could get a paper route and mowing lawns for the goal Schwinn bike converted to a paper route bike. It was easy to not buy music because my solid state system sounded like ass with no tube amps. My first audio lesson!

    As I listened to my solid state amp again, I realized I needed to turn 12 so I could get a real paper route and make better bucks. It was my first audio moment of tumescence for the equipment of another - and my voice had not even changed yet.
     
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  2. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf MOT - Sonarworks

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    I don't think I'll ever be as rich or patient to choose analog over digital for sound quality reasons.
     
  3. powermatic

    powermatic Friend

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    Yeah, you need to be predisposed to the extremely fussy, mechanical aspects of playing vinyl, or at least be patient enough to do it anyway. Fortunately I enjoy it. The automotive and motorcycle author Peter Egan once wrote about the 'garage factor' of a motorcycle: a bike you own should make you want to go out to the garage with a beer and just look at it (paraphrase). I feel that way about motorcycles-and tonearms. It's hard for me to have that same loin-level, god-that's-beautiful! connection with a DAC.:rolleyes:
     
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  4. Merrick

    Merrick A lidless ear

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    They both have their places. I'll say that I've never heard a digital presentation that was as immersive to me as a great analog rig when I'm sober (when I'm imbibing the sound quality becomes a lesser concern), but I still want the best digital presentation I can get.
     
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  5. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I enjoy LPs quite a bit. I enjoy relatively decent silicon transistor solid state stuff quite a bit. And I enjoy tube liquid state stuff quite a bit.

    I do miss my days where I would play records on my dad's Gradiente (Brazilian brand?) and fake Fisher record player. They were better than my cassette player, and that's not to put them down. That's really all I had, and growing up, LPs where king.

    Personally however, for me the turning point was smart phones (later in life). Not sure about everyone else, but some sound really good (IMO, YMMV, BBQ, BBW, etc.). They are tinny.

    That said, tubes are very elegant, and do a heck of a job in immersing one into the music. And many times, it is the music that makes it or breaks it for me.
     
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  6. MoatsArt

    MoatsArt Friend

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    Vinyl is either for hipsters and audiophiles obsessed by image, or for rich audiophile fuckers who can afford to make plastic sound good.

    Option 1. Modi MB + CD player + 10 hours of music on CD = $450
    Option 2. Project Debut Carbon + TC750 + 10 hours of music on LP = $600

    Option 1 results in no nasty surface noise, no inner groove distortion, no stylus replacement every couple of thousand hours, no frustration, no time wasted in rituals to prepare for music playback and far cheaper recordings.

    You are my hero, @baldr
     
  7. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    LOL! In time, maybe I will have all of it. But yes, Option 1 is often awesome. Option 2 is often awesome as well. Some LP records are pure win.
     
  8. dmckean44

    dmckean44 In a Sherwood S6040CP relationship

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    Option 1 will slaughter option 2 the vast majority of the time. Good LP playback costs a bit of money. As much as I love and prefer vinyl to digital, I don't think I would get into it today. The main reason I took it as far as I did is because I own thousands of records that were given to me in the mid-90s when LPs were free.
     
  9. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Good to see this thread has already been polluted Head-Fi style with the opinions of random geniuses
     
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  10. MoatsArt

    MoatsArt Friend

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    Are you a random genius, @OJneg?
     
  11. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Agreed. We just need a fucker or two to disrupt the TT market. The $300 to $2000 TT market is up for grabs. The Project stuff shouldn't cost that much considering its design flaws.

    The vintage table path is viable at lower cost, but it takes work and brains. Not all people can handle it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016
  12. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I think the first point is that digital is more practical and as @baldr puts it "beyond really good". If one has the funds, and/or the skills, and/or the time, and/or the willingness, a good vinyl rig may be a great option. If not, the fuck with it.

    The second point as I understand it, is that @baldr is into tubes. In his youth he liked a friend's tube amp. And ever since then it seems he likes how some of them render music to his ears.

    These are @baldr's opinions. Which folks may share fully, partially, or not at all.

    Do I agree with @baldr?

    To start with, I don't have a shit load of experience with vinyl, nor am I a trained guitar player, or a whatever. But I have lived my life the way I lived it, and enjoyed the music that I enjoyed. And I'm an expert on what I like. And I liked my dad's POS vinyl rig. I liked Craig's tube amps. I like my POS Massdropped O2 and crappy 2i2. The Jotunheim was awesome. I also enjoy my POS iPhone. Fuck you.
     
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  13. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    Glad to see you here, @baldr Looking forward to part two. I love this kind of stuff!
     
  14. landroni

    landroni Friend

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    Wouldn't @schiit be up for this? I recall they've firmly crossed transducers from their list of potential products (I guess the Odeon experience wasn't much in the end), but I've always been wondering if one day we may be staring at a gorgeous, silver Schiit TT...
     
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  15. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    I live mostly in the digital domain myself, but I agree a Schiit turntable could make a lot of sense for some people. If Schitt has time for something like that, I imagine they're pretty busy as it is with all their dacs, amps, revisions and what not.

    But here are some name suggestions for a schiit turntable:

    Borr - Father of Odin
    Elli - Goddess of old age
    Buri - Ruler of Prehistory

    (slightly tongue in cheek, hehe)

    Also - nice to see you here @baldr. I own a Theta Gen Va which I like quite a bit. If you have anything fun to tell me about it, or of how it was made, I'm all ears! :)
     
  16. Grahad

    Grahad Guest

    Won't be easy to make a turntable chassis out of 2 pieces of steel anymore. :p
     
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  17. baldr

    baldr Schiit-sterer

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    I would love to take a serious look at making analog affordable beyond the level of a lonely Mani offering for the principal reason cited above – it is too fuckin’ expensive. A Mani is an easy thing for me as it is analogous to stuff I have already done. Turntables and cartridges are another deal. My experience consists of a variety of experiments. I know I like inverted bearings and I hate wood and resinous platters. That leaves massy metal platters, not thin, cheap, ringy sheets that go on like cymbals. Direct drive is for those that like flatulent, vague, milquetoast bass, and unipivot arms rock. The problem is unipivot arms feel weird and require more care in operations.

    As I write, I realize what the issue is. Analog is for the adventurous, those with fucking cajones. If I ever offer this kind of gear, this must apply. Those who need an audio safe space are lost. Those easily offended by challenges need not apply. No pussies. You better not be too high maintenance. These are products for either experienced audio types with an understanding that they will get no more out of this than what they put in. Anything that I would sell with a Schiit logo would have to be sold with that understanding. Since brick and mortar dealers are dead, no audio psychiatry remains available for the unadventurous. This a hobby in the direction of ham radio. You have to get your hands dirty. It is not listening to digital audio while working out where all of the beautiful people hang out. Work is unavoidable in the sale of inexpensive analog audio. We couldn’t support you, except to provide you with gear that works. You have to learn to set it up and use it yourself. Maybe kinda rude for 2016.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
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  18. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    2016 won't be around much longer.
     
  19. bazelio

    bazelio Friend

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    The meek shall not inherit the earth!
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    @baldr: If you guys ever pull of a turntable, I'm sure sites like this or Head-Fi would be willing to be a resource to help folks set their tables up.

    Lots of experienced turntable people here. And really, it's not that hard with the basics. And from there, the more advanced stuff. Yes, I'm volunteering.

    Your warning that one will get no more out of out it than one puts in should be put on the outside of the box.
     

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