Grueling Audio Upgrade Complete- just had my first big treat!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul_Scott, Oct 23, 2002.

  1. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    apologizes for the length of this post, but some background first;
    i originally decided to upgrade my speakers a year ago this month. i began reading and rereading HT magazine articles till i could almost quote them verbatim.
    i was originally set on paradigms.
    they were the first (and till that time- only) 'good' speakers i had heard and they seemed to get enough respect in the press and from users.
    wasn't sure about the models i wanted or needed, but i had my mind made up this was the brand i would go with.
    in Nov. of '01 i went to a dealer with cash in my pocket, but just couldn't lay down the money.
    they still sounded good, but was the difference enough to warrent $1k+ replacing my HTIB speakers?
    at that time, i didn't feel it was.

    thankfully, not rushing into this gave me the time to read up on things and investigate other options.
    i finally started hitting things hard in July, when several musicals i had been anticipating on dvd finally appeared and i knew the experiece was being marred by my now inadequete gear.
    i listened to a dozen different brands that all were at least good to some that i really loved, and one brand in aprticular that i was sure i was going to end up with.

    well, my system is finally complete, with speakers i never would have thought i would have liked and a reciever i hadn't anticipated needing & whose brand i hadn't heard of before this past Aug.

    was it worth it?

    after i was finished setting everything up, i popped in a few movies (without my projector connected) and just listend to snatches of the soundtracks.
    it was during a scene in ALIEN that i audiblly squealed in delight.
    during the scene after they awake and are getting the ship up to speed and checking their location, i clearly heard Veronica Cartrights character say, more like whisper under her breath, "i don't believe this".
    i don't remember ever hearing that line as clear, precise and as audible as i heard it today.
    it must have been there before, but all i can remember is her whispering or mumbling indistictly.
    i have heard this soundtrack dozens and dozens of times (before VCRs i taped the films audio soundtrack on a cassette recorder from an HBO broadcast and listened to it many times in those prehistoric days).
    the line has always been there, i'm sure, but today, it struck me as startlingly new and blatant akin to as if they had inserted an extra music cue.

    hearing things you've never heard before in favorite movies you seen a hundred times?
    yeah, it was worth it!
     
  2. Thang_N.

    Thang_N. Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul,
    Glad to hear you enjoy your new equipment. I am still waiting for the day that I may feel what I've been reading on the forum.
    I don't have my speakers yet[​IMG]
    and we will be moving so I won't be getting to set it up completely for awhile even after I get my speakers and subwoofer.
    Glad to hear you enjoy your investment....
     
  3. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    so you aren't going to reveal what you got?
    c'mon gloat a little.
     
  4. Stephen_E

    Stephen_E Extra

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    what the heck? you had me hooked until the end of that to see what you finally wound up with that you were so wonderfully gleeful and what happens.. zip.. zero.. nada.. i almost choked.. you better reveal what you rode home with, hooked up in your home, shrieked out in simple bliss.
    R - E - V - E - A - L
    !!
    ...please?
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    Paul, you're such a tease. [​IMG]
     
  6. He must have gotten a BOSE Lifestyle system [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

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    Maybe he got a R-E-V-E-L setup.
     
  8. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    Nice way to put it.
    With each upgrade in my system over the past 2 years, hearing more in foley or dialog or in the score has been the `Candy' I like the most.
    My most recent lightbulb moment was in Contact. When Jody Foster stands over the 2nd machine and you hear the complex mix of sounds in the rings. I had no idea there was more to hear in those sounds until my newest reciever made them possible. A B&K AVR-305!
    Fun!

    Eric
     
  9. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    Folks--me thinks Paul is referring to the Ascend Acoustics speakers--is that correct Paul [​IMG]
     
  10. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    Eric,
    well put. i'll be looking forward to pulling out Contact again soon. first i have to get thru a backlog of unopened discs that have been accumulating since i started speaker shopping and had to put actually enjoying stuff on hold.

    the reasons i didn't mention any brand names in the first post were several

    1) i just wanted to express my utter joy that the process was finally over. i don't go down in the basement anymore and worry about spilling a beverage on $1K of stuff i have to return the next day or week, accidently stepping on a borrowed remote, moving packing boxes just to sit down, nor do i have go thru the same tracks over and over anymore trying to discern the differences as if my life depended on it.
    i appreciate the education i got, but the process was a pain and something i don't want to go thru again for quite a while.
    fortunately, i don't anticipate wanting or needing to again for a loong time.

    2) reading all these brand names just seems to become white noise after a while. 90% of people here are going to absolutely love whatever it is they finally settle on, because its finally theirs and its new.
    when i was looking at stuff, i didn't see a whole lot of equipement or speakers that i thought were junk, or grossly over-priced. there were plenty of speakers, in all price ranges that just weren't for me, but they weren't necessarilly bad speakers.
    thats not to say i didn't see disparities in value.
    the criteria i was shooting for, in whatever i would end up with, was to get the same kind of value/performance to price ratio that i got with my video gear.
    i lucked in on the Dell deal last year and was able to get into front projection for still less than the price a decent 53" digital rp costs.
    what makes it even better, the picture quality from the pj and with my modest acsessories, is not far off from what i see in systems costings 8x what i finally paid for everything.
    95% of the way there for 1/8 the cost?
    Hell, i'll take that any day of the week.

    and primarily,
    3) i'm not an audiophile. if i gush about a certain speaker or component, its not really going to carry much weight, and because i'm sooooo happy with what i ended up with, i'm afraid that once i get started on that, i wouldn't know when to quit & would become a bore on the subject very quickly.
    i would hate to just contribute to hype-backlash on these.
    they deserve enthusiastic but sober endorsements.
    i'm still a little tipsy from them at this point :b

    one thing i will say; i believe the electonics i have now are contributing greatly to the exceptional sonics.
    the speakers sounded amazing before with different gear, so i knew they were of sufficent high quality, but the reciever i ultimately went with elevated them up another couple of notches.
    i was told in the begining by several people that the electronics were no small part of the equation. i pretty much shrugged that off, thinking that the differences from a $600 reciever to a $1k weren't going to be all that much besides maybe more features and future capability.
    i found substantial differences between well recognized recievers in roughly the same price range.
    i know better now.
    just because many people recommend something, it doesn't mean there isn't better out there for the same $.
    sometimes it feels like going thru a dark tunnel with no end...only exits into deeper, darker passages.
    but when you finally find the components that are 100% right for you...damn.
    it's a great feeling that is rewarded each and everytime you fire them up.
     
  11. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    Paul,
    I had the same feeling about DVD players - How good can they get? Well, it's a learning experience.
    In 3 years I've been through 4 DVD players, 5 Receivers, 3 TVs, 4 speaker sets, 2 subs and 2 sat recievers.
    Maby it's a question of `How good do I Need?'
    This stuff is just as bad as computers. My next G4 Dual processor will get me past the 2nd quarter of 2003 - I Hope!
    And, if I sit on it past the end of 2003, it's worth nothing.
    Maby if I buy a high end speaker, it will go for years, but imput devices, video & processors are fleeting.
    Least it seems that way.
    Before this madness, I bought a 27 inch Sony and it lasted 10 years. I'd visit Blockbuster 2 times a week. Now it's 3 times a year.
    We're not as bad as the guys that do the GT race circuit. Now that's a hobby that requires some serious change.
    Recently, a friend droped over to check out the latest changes and said `OK, so you've got it all together - you're done...'
    There was a pause, and then we both started laughing.

    Eric
     
  12. Kevin L K

    Kevin L K Second Unit

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    Great post Paul...so...ah...which speakers are you referring to[​IMG] We're not asking you to hype a particular brand but considering how satisfied you are with them why not give them their due? You might really help someone who is in the same situation that you were.
     
  13. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    on second thought, Eric is right (next post).

    i'll be recommending them in appropriate threads that request specific brands, especially speakers systems under $1k but this was always intended as a general post about the joys and frustrations of this hobby.
    some of you already saw it, and in case you miss me plugging them in future posts elsewhere, anybody that really wants to know specifics including the brand can PM me.
    not trying to be coy, just trying to keep at least one thread here free of 'hard sell' and plugs.
    i should have just said that all along.
     
  14. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    Paul
    You didn't need to say the brand name for me.
    I enjoyed the post BECAUSE you didn't use one.
    Oh Well....
    Eric
     
  15. Mike Ford

    Mike Ford Extra

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    I sure know the feeling, that moved into a new house, or bought a new this or that, and you finally get it hooked up for the first time. Old CDs sound new and different, and you get the urge to play all your favorites again.

    OTOH 99.9% of the time when you "hear something new" in an old recording, its just a difference in EQ. A notch or a peak, boost here, roll off there, and some previously hidden bit is revealed. Really good headphones I think can dig a bit deeper into the sound for details, but I don't believe anyting else does more than change the EQ.
     

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