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    Ecologically Sustainable Audio

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    Tube Nube

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    Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by Tube Nube on Wed Jan 21, 2009 11:44 am

    It's most interesting to me to learn about these amplifiers from someone with such intimate knowledge that comes from what appears to be a decades long relationship with these things!

    Relatedly, I read elsewhere on the web a couple of reviews of classic vs modern ST 70s -- "modern" meaning the short run of poorer quality amps made after the company was bought out.

    They concluded that the modern ones weren't very good, but iirc, one of those two articles seemed completely unaware that there were upgrade versions, conversions, and kits around to be had!

    I'd like to see one of the major Audio mags do a story on "Ecologically sustainable audio", focussing on the Dynaco and equipment like it, if there is any. Gear that stands the tests of time and evolution and proves sustainable!

    Bob Latino
    Admin

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    Re: Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by Bob Latino on Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:31 pm

    One of the major issues of the DIY (Do It Yourself) tube industry is that the many DIY boards, amps, speakers and related parts are completely ignored by larger print magazines like Stereophile (Stereophool ?) and The Absolute Sound. They cater to their advertisers. Stereophile even states that they will not review any piece of audio equipment unless the product being reviewed is carried in at least "5 brick and mortar" stores (You can read that as high priced Hi Fi salons). A piece being sold on the internet only does not count and will never be reviewed by Stereophile magazine. I once Emailed John Atkinson who runs Stereophile and asked him "Why?". His reply was that "they had polled their Stereophile readers" and he claims "there was no reader interest in DIY Hi Fi". IMHO what he really means is that DIY'selfers don't buy the high priced audio components advertised in his magazine. He has to cater to people who will purchase from his advertisers.

    The DIY Hi Fi industry is huge but really only exists on the internet. I will say that The Absolute Sound is not quite so strict as Stereophile. They once did a review of the Tyler Acoustics Linbrook II speaker system. Tyler Acoustics is based in Kentucky and sells their products only directly through the internet and not in Hi Fi salons. They are really a high end speaker but have no distribution system or outside dealers.

    Bob

    Clik2media

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    Join date : 2009-01-18

    Re: Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by Clik2media on Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:07 pm

    Bob this is exactly why us Noobies [ not including you in that pile for obvious reasons ] , have to stick together to keep the basement/garage tube industry going. When the guy goes and buys an amp for $10,000 with components that can be obtained on the internet and put together for substanially less....then slowly the DIY can improve their craft and become confident...

    Like a Star @ heaven cheers Like a Star @ heaven

    rwferr

    Posts : 16
    Join date : 2009-01-11

    Re: Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by rwferr on Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:48 pm

    I have had a subscription to Stereophile for the past year. Mainly cause it was only 12 bucks a year. I figure its worth a dollar when you consider the other crap I spend a dollar on. I agree though that most of the stuff in it is nonsense. Reviewing 20k speaker systems and 15k amps. I know people exist who buy that stuff but I have never even known one so they must be few and far between. And as for Brick and Mortar stores, those are becoming pretty rare too. I think we have one stereo store left in my home town. A boutique place. I went in there once. Run by a really nice and knowledgeable guy but I sure can't afford anything in there and I am not poor by any stretch of the imagination. I really do wonder how that guy pays the store rent.

    Tube Nube

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    Re: Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by Tube Nube on Thu Jan 22, 2009 5:04 pm

    I accidentally started this as a new thread, when I originally meant to add my response to another thread. I was posting in response to Bob's interesting glimpse at some of the history, and his history, with Dynaco. So apologies if my first message didn't make total sense because of this.

    I think these forums are something of a salvation for anyone with an interest in anything that isn't on mainstream shelves, or covered by mainstream media. There are vast depths and breadths of knowledge that are accessible easily.

    I get that magazines make money by selling advertising, and so will have an unstated or misleading editorial policy that organizes around the needs of the advertisers in ways that are not necessarily best for the consumer. I think this is particularly true with bigger ticket items for which part of the appeal is enduring utility.

    Enduring utility is at cross purposes with the need of the company to sell more. So the magazines push me on a product that should last years and years, but then it's soon forgotten (the model line is dropped, and soon they won't repair them either), and I'm tantalized, persuaded, urged to buy the latest, greatest, updated-est model.

    I think the DIY world, in some ways, may be more instep with what consumers really want. The emphasis on retaining and improving on something that is good quality to start with. I know most folks don't want to build or assemble anything, but if they realized what they were getting for the money...!

    Brenton

    bizi
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    Re: Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by bizi on Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:52 pm

    I am enjoying this thread as it relates to concerns I have as well. Just a brief background - I e-mailed Bob a couple of weeks ago about the ST-120 and received a prompt and informative reply. Now if only I can sell a couple of things so I can buy one!
    The mainstream audio mags. (read Stereophile, Absolute Sound etc.) and on-line reviewers are suspect as far as I am concerned. Bob is right. It is extremely hard to get something reviewed unless it's been advertised in their mags. And I'll take it a step further. Do these reviews have any relevance? What are the reviewers backgrounds? When I inquire on this subject, I get " I have been listening to music all my life and I attend concerts all the time." No electrical theory background, just purely subjective nonsense that "proves" huge differences in linear electrical devices. Of course, they wouldn't get advertisers if they didn't come up with something good. When was the last time you read a scathing review of a completely over-engineered 5W SET amp that costs $15,000? Not when it's advertised with the reviewers.
    Sustainable audio is a wonderful concept. I have been caught in the upgrade or trade-up treadmill and I want to get off. And yes, the advertisers are slick; they make you feel that you need this or else. They completely play into the audiophile insecurity issues. Are the new models that much better? Remember amplifier technology has been around for a hundred years, so I figure that most designers have some idea what they are doing. "Mind boggling stereo image, more liquid midrange, better control in the bass" and so on are the cries of the advertisers. Maybe all it takes is a few modern upgrades from a good, but somewhat flawed design like the Dynacos to have sustainable audio. And at a decent price. I have been searching the internet for some time now, trying to find the "good guys". There aren't that many, at least those whose judgement you can trust. And with the demise of the high end audio salons, getting to hear audio equipment is becoming more difficult. Quite often, buying something unheard is the only way to go.
    Let's seriously pay more attention to the idea ofsustainable audio and give credit to the Bob Latino's of the world for providing a means to do so.

    Bill Irvin, Taos, NM

    Tube Nube

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    Re: Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by Tube Nube on Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:11 pm

    Bill,

    I like the way you think.

    Check out this amplifier, reported to sound very good: http://blog.stereophile.com/ces2009/on_the_lamm/

    I'd be interested to hear it. Or a pair of them. I think that would be fun. But in terms of value for money?

    Brenton

    JunkyJan

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    Re: Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by JunkyJan on Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:12 am

    Hey, I have been thinking along these lines for quite a while now. My outlook on Audio and Music actually changed in a BIG WAY for me when I started building my own stuff. Please note that I am NOT knocking the "established audiophile Industry" but you have to start wondering when companies advertise $2,000 or more for a single piece of wire (um... OK, I mean Interconnect Cable with some Magical Properties).

    In my humble opinion, you can affect a far greater change by tube-rolling your ST-70 or ST-120 with a quad of $200 KT88 tubes rather than spending $2,000 on a cable. Or if you really want to spend lotsa $$$, go the whole hog and get some REALLY high-end KT88s (The ULTIMATE KT88 tubes)

    I know of one of those brick-and-mortar stereophile shops in Toronto that charged a newbie audiophile $120 to "Set the bias" on his new tube amp... The newbie (much) later realized that the amp in question is a self-biasing design.

    -- JunkyJan

    Tube Nube

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    Re: Ecologically Sustainable Audio

    Post by Tube Nube on Mon Feb 09, 2009 9:22 pm

    Those are some expensive tubes, 'Jan!

    I'm with you in being somewhat suspicious of super expensive cables and the scientific sounding arguments meant to substantiate, ironically while obfuscating at the same time, the basis for their value.

    I'm coming to thing there's a good deal of snake oiling going on in some quarters, more than others, in the "hi end."

    Brenton

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