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Monday, June 10, 2013

The King is Naked!




Yes... The King is Naked!




... I know, folks... you read on these pages several times "Nirvana... I got it!... Wonderful... I've no more wishes my Lord... I like it immensely..." and so on and on...

I'm sincere... an honest, straight, humble guy... a music and audio lover... my whole audio life is a gravel, unpaved road, and pebbles and dust are the too many errors and cul-de-sacs I experienced on the path!

Some days ago, when my wife heavily pushed me to dismantle also the VERY last audio stronghold at home, the La Scala's and 300B monoblocks I used for some background music while partying or simply having dinner, usually playing Sakamoto/Morelenbaum's "Casa" or some Keith Jarrett's piano or Elvis Costello's "North" or some italian music... well, my tiny studio was... IS already tightly packed with my turntables projects, vintage stuffs, Studer and Telefunken's tape machines (!!!)... so, REALLY, only thinking to haul the Klipsches' there worried... no, horrified me!

I (regretfully) auctioned on Ebay for a couple of days... then I ended in a hurry the auction, shameful only thinking to auction them, leave alone "selling" them.

Why?

...  my best pal Loris - a long time audio maven and La Scala's scholar - when I shared my pain and doubts about home system dismantling hinted something like: "Stefano, DO NOT sell Klipsches'... use them, instead... tune on them and tune again the BIG Gotorama... listen to them carefully for some days, then go back to Goto's stuff..."

So I did, pals...

A totally new sonic landscape opened to my ears... a looong time passed since I really listened to 300B and La Scala's, at home... only listening-from-another-room thing...

Now Ralph Towner's breathing, strings squeakings, ambient noises... Gary Peacock's double-bass... all is like brand-new to me, also on discs and disks I knew VERY well...

Was TacT and digital time- and room-correction - someway - veiling? Was the 6db eaten by TacT's working against music and detailing? Was some (relative) boominess on some recordings better than the above shortcomings?

Loris forced and pushed me to think to ALL the above... with ears, soul, body and mind ALL connected and unison working...

Yesterday, at the end of one week of positioning La Scala's in my studio, making it possible to enjoy both Gotorama and La Scala's based minimalist system, I finally got it, again.

That sense of surprise and awe that only The Very Best Listenings give, concert or home ...

All considered, the arrival of Cunningham CX-310s in Thomas Mayer's Line Stage was bombastic, as well!

A new level of beauty was reached... I felt very, VERY fragile and unprotected... yesterday, a rainy, dull Sunday, I felt strong enough to COMPLETELY dismantle Gotorama... put TacT on a shelf and began the mysterious process of finely tuning by-ear my system, only using Mayer's/Slagle 4-ways Passive crossover... I made drawings and took records of previous setting, of course...

TacT/digital fine tuning was a PITA, as Franz Hinterlehner was hired three times to measure and align and program TacT's... would be stupid to throw away ALL this!

After some hours... literally tons of amps and turntables hauling, at 10,30 P.M. (began at 7,45 A.M.) I reached that balance I was looking for, using music and some (valuable) support from IVIE IE-30 RTA and IVIE IE-20 Pink Noise Generator!

It was like a kick at the stomach... ouch!

The double bass was INCREDIBLY airy and deep, quick and unboomy... real, true-to-life; female voices were silky and nicely sized... detailing was MUCH better than the awesome La Scala's.

It happened many time and it's life and audio... life comes from changing and death is life, as life is death... destroying something to make it better...

... and still my lazy-minded friends - but Loris;-))) - says: "Stefano, I wouldn't change anything!" or "Don't touch your system, anymore!".

So, maybe, this is what differentiate the braveheart from the coward;-)))!

HA!


Thanking Livia Lucchese for the nice watercolor...




5 comments:

VinylSavor said...

Hi Stefano,

thanks for sharing this experience! It takes some balls to openly share it like this and my hat off to you!

In my audio life I also took different paths and at some stage arrived at complex systems which are great in many ways. But going back to a simpler system can be an eye opener and an experience which then helps to tune the big system in the right way.

You know that I always was skeptikal about room correction. If you would have some musicians playing life in your studio or a singer singing it would be awesome and a great experience, and naturally without room correction. I always say let the room do what it does. As long as it is not totally awful acoustically, the ear and brain will adapt to the tonal changes the room creates. I think the ear/brain system has difficulties with an artificially 'corrected' sound. But this is just speculation.

Best regards

Thomas

Johannes LeBong said...

Hi Stefano, Thomas,
just another story how technical perfectionism can be misleading. When I recently attended the LH-Meeting in Beauvechain, there was a professional speaker designer who showed his precious high-tech speaker. He used a Manger driver for mid-high which was digitally corrected to be able to reproduce even accurate square waves - that is why he was absolutely sure that his speaker must be a top Hifi-box.

But the sound of natural acoustic instruments and human voices appeared very unnatural to my ears. I preferred a simple and cheap fullrange speaker which was in the same room. This one also was far from perfect but much more natural and relaxed.

Iain said...

My first HiFi system was a pair of Klipsch Belles, 300B SET Canary Audio, George Wright Preamp, and a simple CD player and thorens TT. In a way I have always tried to get back to what that system did so right. It was very enjoyable. Not being rich I sold parts of that system to experience other systems and sounds. Sometimes audio nirvana is knowing when to stop 8-)

twogoodears said...

Hi Johannes, Thomas... yes, only some months ago I strongly felt I could happily live with two feet in a shoe - i.e. digital crossovering and time delay room correction AND full analog... now... not me, my ears tell the very true... as I'm able to recognize a strings brand on my acoustic guitars, I'm able to - filterless and unashamedly - express my very opinion...

twogoodears said...

Hi Iain... it's more or less the same for me... when you know... better, you FEEL a double bass can sound deep and airy, unboomy... in my VERY case it means I experienced, at a concert, listening to Gary Peacock from first row in a natural acoustic room... from 4-5 meters... your DNA learns VERY quickly!
From youth to only few months ago, the good experiences make, create knowledge... and you cannot fuck it... would be like self-fucking yourself and your truest essence!