Those images make the mind "reel"

Hey Marco, any discount for tiny wine fridges?

Hey Marco, any discount for tiny wine fridges?

The last 5 ?????

Sometimes as an Audiophile I come to a place where words no longer express the experience I’m having with my system. In this past year I have needed to sell off parts of my system, the biggest changes were going from two Plinius SA-102 amps bi-amped to a single amp, and replacing my Nordost Valhalla cabling with the far more affordable Kubala-Sosna Emotion cables.

The loss of the amp was clear, less dynamics and less involving. The cable change was something significantly different however. The Kubala-Sosna cables are every cliché we audiophiles use. Blacker, better definition, more space between notes, dynamic, extended… These words fail to express the improvement over my Valhalla cables however, and all I can say is I’m more musically involved. This was a clear improvement to my system, and for less money!!! But words fail to adequately express the improvements.

The second experience came when my Sony SCD-1 receiving all the remaining modifications available through Richard Kern at Audiomod.com I had half the mod’s done four years ago, and received the remaining just last month. The fully modified player is said to better the EMM Meitner/Phillips combination. I can not speak to that in that I have never heard this combination, so my basis is strictly within my experiences listening to other systems.

The fully modified Sony is simply amazing, beyond my limits of expression. I could say it’s more analog than any digital system I’ve heard, and yet it’s well beyond analog. It is simply so much more than the analog most of us can afford. It’s also not at all digital, it has none of the electronic, edgy artifacts of solid state and digital systems. The best way I can explain this system is it’s beyond digital and analog that I’m aware of.

Words like three dimensional, attack, tightness, extended, clear, dynamic, natural, subtle all fall completely inadequate when trying to explain my system today. Words just can not explain the sound.

This leads me to my purpose of this post. The topic actually came up talking to Albert Porter when we were discussing continued improvements we make to systems that are already beyond 95% of anything available. In Albert’s case I suspect he is beyond 99.99% and yet we continue to change our systems and reach DRAMATIC improvements.

How is this possible if the last five or three or one percent is as significant as 50% to 90%? What I mean is when I moved from a $1000 system to a $4000 system the improvements were dramatic. Then I moved to a $9000 then $20,000 and finally to where I am now. Each step was marked improvement over the earlier step and even at $4000 I was far beyond anything 95% of the consumers will ever hear. So what’s actually going on? If $4000 gets me to the last few percent, how can each additional step be doubling or tripling the previous systems musicality or involvement or measurable improvement?

Why do some of us get to a point where we believe a single multi-thousand dollar interconnect brought us 100% closer to the music? Why are there some who still claim cables do not effect sound? Clearly they want good sound, but somehow are not aware of what is possible due to limits in there 95% system.

My answer is either the last couple percent are actually far more significant than the first 95% or we are actually only 25% “there” with a $4000 system. I can not even express how big the changes I have made are. They are well beyond two times, maybe three or four times the significance on the system before these changes. That would mean I was something like 25% or 45% “there” before. Well that is crazy because I have not hear a system I enjoyed more than mine. I’ve heard some that were better in one area or another, but overall… Of course this is a subjective topic, and I understand that, but the point is for my room, my ears, my taste I was already 100%, yet now I’ve bettered it by two or three fold.

All I can think is this is not a 100% issue. This is something more like the open ended Richter scale. On the Richter scale every tenth of a point is doubling the magnitude of an earthquake. The Richter scale is logarithmic, that is an increase of 1 magnitude unit represents a factor of ten times in amplitude. The seismic waves of a magnitude 6 earthquake are 10 times greater in amplitude than those of a magnitude 5 earthquake. However, in terms of energy release, a magnitude 6 earthquake is about 31 times greater than a magnitude 5.

-1.5 on Richter scale, equals 6 ounces of TNT

1.0 on Richter scale, equals 30 pounds of TNT

1.5 on Richter scale, equals 320 pounds of TNT

2.0 on Richter scale, equals 1 ton of TNT

2.5 on Richter scale, equals 4.6 tons of TNT

3.0 on Richter scale, equals 29 tons of TNT

3.5 on Richter scale, equals 73 tons of TNT

4.0 on Richter scale, equals 1,000 tons of TNT

4.5 on Richter scale, equals 5,100 tons of TNT

5.0 on Richter scale, equals 32,000 tons of TNT

5.5 on Richter scale, equals 80,000 tons of TNT

6.0 on Richter scale, equals 1 million tons of TNT

6.5 on Richter scale, equals 5 million tons of TNT

7.0 on Richter scale, equals 32 million tons of TNT

7.5 on Richter scale, equals 160 million tons of TNT

8.0 on Richter scale, equals 1 billion tons of TNT

8.5 on Richter scale, equals 5 billion tons of TNT

9.0 on Richter scale, equals 32 billion tons of TNT

10.0 on Richter scale, equals 1 trillion tons of TNT

12.0 on Richter scale, equals 160 trillion tons of TNT

So if we said a boom box was a 1.0, a Bose radio might be considered a 3.0. A top of the line Best Buy system might be a 4.0. The typical audiophile system might then be a 5.5 where the old 98% system might be a 6.5. If my system was a 7.5 before the changes it might be a 7.9 now. Albert’s system might be an 8.5, but his new cables could make his system 100% better, or become an 8.6.

In my mind this is more logical for explaining the effects I have experienced. This also means we never find 100% for this scale has no end. Now the issue is how we actually mathematically quantify this logarithmic expression. I figure if some of the engineering minds out there might have an answer for this and this could be a new expression for us to use. If we could come up with a quantifiable formula, it might be a new language for us to express our systems to each other. If we had something like this maybe it could be a part of the virtual systems. We could then begin to understand how an improved cable is affecting our systems.

I may be way off here; it would not be the first time. I do however feel we need another language to express the “last couple percent” because the system we are using is inadequate, and at some point all the clichés mean nothing, and words are wholly inadequate. Perhaps this is a start???

The loss of the amp was clear, less dynamics and less involving. The cable change was something significantly different however. The Kubala-Sosna cables are every cliché we audiophiles use. Blacker, better definition, more space between notes, dynamic, extended… These words fail to express the improvement over my Valhalla cables however, and all I can say is I’m more musically involved. This was a clear improvement to my system, and for less money!!! But words fail to adequately express the improvements.

The second experience came when my Sony SCD-1 receiving all the remaining modifications available through Richard Kern at Audiomod.com I had half the mod’s done four years ago, and received the remaining just last month. The fully modified player is said to better the EMM Meitner/Phillips combination. I can not speak to that in that I have never heard this combination, so my basis is strictly within my experiences listening to other systems.

The fully modified Sony is simply amazing, beyond my limits of expression. I could say it’s more analog than any digital system I’ve heard, and yet it’s well beyond analog. It is simply so much more than the analog most of us can afford. It’s also not at all digital, it has none of the electronic, edgy artifacts of solid state and digital systems. The best way I can explain this system is it’s beyond digital and analog that I’m aware of.

Words like three dimensional, attack, tightness, extended, clear, dynamic, natural, subtle all fall completely inadequate when trying to explain my system today. Words just can not explain the sound.

This leads me to my purpose of this post. The topic actually came up talking to Albert Porter when we were discussing continued improvements we make to systems that are already beyond 95% of anything available. In Albert’s case I suspect he is beyond 99.99% and yet we continue to change our systems and reach DRAMATIC improvements.

How is this possible if the last five or three or one percent is as significant as 50% to 90%? What I mean is when I moved from a $1000 system to a $4000 system the improvements were dramatic. Then I moved to a $9000 then $20,000 and finally to where I am now. Each step was marked improvement over the earlier step and even at $4000 I was far beyond anything 95% of the consumers will ever hear. So what’s actually going on? If $4000 gets me to the last few percent, how can each additional step be doubling or tripling the previous systems musicality or involvement or measurable improvement?

Why do some of us get to a point where we believe a single multi-thousand dollar interconnect brought us 100% closer to the music? Why are there some who still claim cables do not effect sound? Clearly they want good sound, but somehow are not aware of what is possible due to limits in there 95% system.

My answer is either the last couple percent are actually far more significant than the first 95% or we are actually only 25% “there” with a $4000 system. I can not even express how big the changes I have made are. They are well beyond two times, maybe three or four times the significance on the system before these changes. That would mean I was something like 25% or 45% “there” before. Well that is crazy because I have not hear a system I enjoyed more than mine. I’ve heard some that were better in one area or another, but overall… Of course this is a subjective topic, and I understand that, but the point is for my room, my ears, my taste I was already 100%, yet now I’ve bettered it by two or three fold.

All I can think is this is not a 100% issue. This is something more like the open ended Richter scale. On the Richter scale every tenth of a point is doubling the magnitude of an earthquake. The Richter scale is logarithmic, that is an increase of 1 magnitude unit represents a factor of ten times in amplitude. The seismic waves of a magnitude 6 earthquake are 10 times greater in amplitude than those of a magnitude 5 earthquake. However, in terms of energy release, a magnitude 6 earthquake is about 31 times greater than a magnitude 5.

-1.5 on Richter scale, equals 6 ounces of TNT

1.0 on Richter scale, equals 30 pounds of TNT

1.5 on Richter scale, equals 320 pounds of TNT

2.0 on Richter scale, equals 1 ton of TNT

2.5 on Richter scale, equals 4.6 tons of TNT

3.0 on Richter scale, equals 29 tons of TNT

3.5 on Richter scale, equals 73 tons of TNT

4.0 on Richter scale, equals 1,000 tons of TNT

4.5 on Richter scale, equals 5,100 tons of TNT

5.0 on Richter scale, equals 32,000 tons of TNT

5.5 on Richter scale, equals 80,000 tons of TNT

6.0 on Richter scale, equals 1 million tons of TNT

6.5 on Richter scale, equals 5 million tons of TNT

7.0 on Richter scale, equals 32 million tons of TNT

7.5 on Richter scale, equals 160 million tons of TNT

8.0 on Richter scale, equals 1 billion tons of TNT

8.5 on Richter scale, equals 5 billion tons of TNT

9.0 on Richter scale, equals 32 billion tons of TNT

10.0 on Richter scale, equals 1 trillion tons of TNT

12.0 on Richter scale, equals 160 trillion tons of TNT

So if we said a boom box was a 1.0, a Bose radio might be considered a 3.0. A top of the line Best Buy system might be a 4.0. The typical audiophile system might then be a 5.5 where the old 98% system might be a 6.5. If my system was a 7.5 before the changes it might be a 7.9 now. Albert’s system might be an 8.5, but his new cables could make his system 100% better, or become an 8.6.

In my mind this is more logical for explaining the effects I have experienced. This also means we never find 100% for this scale has no end. Now the issue is how we actually mathematically quantify this logarithmic expression. I figure if some of the engineering minds out there might have an answer for this and this could be a new expression for us to use. If we could come up with a quantifiable formula, it might be a new language for us to express our systems to each other. If we had something like this maybe it could be a part of the virtual systems. We could then begin to understand how an improved cable is affecting our systems.

I may be way off here; it would not be the first time. I do however feel we need another language to express the “last couple percent” because the system we are using is inadequate, and at some point all the clichés mean nothing, and words are wholly inadequate. Perhaps this is a start???

- ...
- 66 posts total

- 66 posts total

Back to top