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Old 02-07-2010   #7
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Default Re: best system for senior classical music listener

Thank you again for the informative responses. I do have the Barbiere recording you mentioned. I was thinking of testing Vivaldi conertoes with Carmagnola and the Venice Baroque Orchestra.

I do my best to patronize well run locally owned businesses, and when I find a business I trust, I use that business or dealer exclusively. There are times when it does help to have established relationships. So, most likely I would buy the system from one dealer.

I read a good review of cd players and amps from Cambridge--azure series, I hink.

A very nice gentleman, who, I fear, doesn't know much about classical music, at Crutchfield recommended speakers by Def Tech, and other componenets by NAD. He was indeed working backward from speakers. Reviews at Amazon of NAD products are decidedly mixed.
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Old 02-08-2010   #8
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Default Re: best system for senior classical music listener

Going back ten years and more, Def Tech (Definitive Technology) speakers were darn good bang-for-the-buck home theater speakers. They played loud, they played deep, and a mid-treble lift gave exciting presence to movie soundtracks. As you might guess they were also exciting on rock music and jazz. However, the words refined and neutral do not spring immediately to mind when describing their performance. But, hey, maybe that leopard changed its spots, who knows?

The only hi-fi dealer in New England I know is Roberts Audio in New London, Connecticut. We were travelling in our motorhome and we couldn't stand the sound of the cheap car audio system that was included. We found a car audio place selling Alpine and purchased a decent deck (the "source" is important, remember?). Then Roberts audio let us audition a few small speakers, and we settled on a little pair of B&Ws. From the CDs we played, they knew we were classical music lovers. They gave us a very modest discount and encouraged us to use the money saved to attend the opening night concert of the East Connecticut Symphony there in New London. We drove up the street and purchased tickets right away. They played a good program and the highlight was the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 which has never been a favorite of ours. Quite simply, it was marvellous! If you ever get over that way give them a listen.
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Old 02-08-2010   #9
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Default Re: best system for senior classical music listener

I am very much looking forward to being able to attend classical concerts in the up state NY and NE areas.

The gentleman at Crutchfield sruck me as very much a movie theatre, soft jazz, soul and soft rock kind of guy. I have nothing against those entertainment choices, but what would work for him might not for me.

Maria was in a class by herself. As one critic said "We will never see her like again."
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Old 02-09-2010   #10
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Default Re: best system for senior classical music listener

Odd that no one has mentioned this, but I will. The good news is you're retired (yay!) and have disposable income to devote to your musical life. The bad news is, you lost 20% - 40% of your hearing accuracy since you were 30. While it may not seem that you hear any differently, rest assured that the more you spend on high-fidelity equipment the less you'll get out of them.

I'm sure I will take flak from others in the forum, but you should be aware that nuance in many frequencies, primarily treble, are lost to those with even mildly diminished hearing. Many older people can't even hear sound above 15,000 hz, and that's the limit of FM radio. Thus you have to really think carefully about whether it's worth $2,000 for a pair of speakers or $3,000 for a turntable, for example, that wouldn't sound better than your basic on-air program. Like many expensive toys (sports cars, flying lessons, audio gear), the young are much more capable of appreciating the high end than the old since they have better reflexes and more acute senses, even if they can rarely afford them. It's true that it sucks getting old!

I'd suggest you spend an afternoon at your doctor's office getting a basic audiology test, and see how good your hearing is. Then you can decide on a budget that will equal what you can actually appreciate. Could save you thousands of dollars!

Good luck, EricO
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Old 02-09-2010   #11
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Default Re: best system for senior classical music listener

Nastarana,
You mentioned you were movig up state New York. I would difenitley give Bobby Palkovich of Merlin Music a call. He is one of the most knowledgeble people you could ever talk to in the industry regarding very good sound. He is also located upstate New York. Ive met and talked to him at various shows such as Rocky Mountain Audio festival in Denver. His speakers have won numerous awards for best sound of show especially when you factor in pound for pound dollar for dollar sound compared to other systems costing 3-5 times more. Look him up at Merlinmusic dot.
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Old 02-09-2010   #12
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Default Re: best system for senior classical music listener

GrtGrgx, I appreciate the comment. I hope I woll be able to tell by trying before buying whether my hearing loss, of which I am very much aware, having worked around loud machinery for many years, will prevent me from discriminating between better and best.

I don't really think of audio equipment as toys. There is surely a happy medium somewhere between a Walmart set for c$2-300, and the super high end components which are priced in the 5 and 6 figures.

Chas, thank you for the referral.
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