« on: October 01, 2010, 12:26:04 AM »
Mike, the cd player is an Audio Research Reference Cd7, connected in balanced mode with XLR cables (Nordost Red Dawn).
Terraform, the music I can now experience is the most natural, true and neutral I've ever experienced in more than 40 years, the real thing, far from the cold, harsh and monodimensional music typical of the solid state (and I've used several good and "esoteric" solid state amps and cd players). Believe me, it is a totally new world, and don't believe to those stories about tube coloration: every kind of music can be graced by the tubes, voices and instruments come to a new life. Listening to ambient music is nothing short than incredible, for a very simple fact: the blackness from where it rises. The tubes can reproduce the dynamics of ambient music in a unique way, and the main difference between solid state and tubes is the high resolution you get at low volumes, sounds and textures seem to come from a very distant point in the space, gaining a 3D shape. At low volumes solid state simply kills the music, all the music, and everything sounds "dead". As you can expect, rock, jazz, folk and classical music are exciting too.
You mention the studio monitors, but hifi and studio equipment are different worlds. I'm afraid it is impossible to recreate in a house the "recording conditions" you are talking about, but a good pair of monitors like Genelec or Mackie can help. I have a pair of Mackie 824 in the studio and I'm totally satisfied, they are a bit "fat" in the lower end of the audio spectrum but once you know this you can take some corrections in the mastering phase. Regarding the Yamaha NS10, they are horrible, and it is very funny that people have considered them for years the standard in the studio.