10 February, 2024

Happy Year of the Dragon

The Dragon at Taimonsing's den.

Letter from Shenzhen (24-3): Happy Year of the Dragon!

Happy Chinese New Year to our friends from the global audio village! United by our love of audio and music, we are truly sans frontieres. If everyone just loves music and audio and spend our time on the true things that matter, the world would not be such a messy place as it's now.

One great thing about visiting a good and interesting setup is the feeling that we are welcome guests in a safe place secluded from the weariness of this world. And there are plenty of places like that, such as Taimonsing's place featured in the last article. Time is suspended.

Another thing that I like about certain audiophiles like Taimonsing is that they are children at heart, and I mean that as an accolade (as I am one). Many are not just interested in audio, but have many other interests. Taimonsing is an example - caudex, photography, Japanese cars etc...I firmly believe one has to have a number of interests to truly experience and enjoy life.

The important thing is, THINK OUT OF THE BOX! A lot of goodies in this world (like Taimonsing's concentrating on obscure RCA's). Forget about audio press and experiment based on your gut feelings. Some pointers:
  • Forget about "upgrades" within the same brand or line. Improvements are minimal and educational value very low! Think ANUK.
  • Learn to solder. THE best thing an audiophile can do. It opens up your horizon. Just to be able to make a cable or change a cap equates total satisfaction.
  • Consider cheapo stuff, particularly Chinese ones. Believe me, they are the future. A lot of stuff are just silly good for money. Yes, one will encounter some setbacks along the way, but losing $20 or $200 is nothing compared to an impulse buying of "high end" good that is almost total loss of big sum even if you sell within a year or two.
  • Buy some vintage gear to compare. Cheap ones, even a good integrated like a NAD 3020, Nait I/II, or Cyrus I, or Musical Fidelity A1 will shock you! This is what I call REALITY TESTING. The audio press always tells you things are improving, but they are not.
Enough proselytizing, Happy New Year to You.

1 comment:

  1. Happy New Year of the Loong (no more vicious and devilish dragon from the West anymore) to everyone and Dr John! Of the four points you had mentioned, I consistently exercising the first, third and fourth and since I am a SS guy, much less chance to solder~ But soldering cables DIY is an attractive proposition!

    The only upgrade I would get from maufacturer is when it's free and is offered to me for my Wattson Emerson and it does have some improvement in sound quality or fixed some bugs over software! Upgrading wth a price price tag usually means more hard earned money transfer to the manufacturers~

    I am a big fan of cheapo Chinese gears. As an happy owner of Aiyima A08pro and UMI signal enhancer, my setup can compare nicely against many systems costing 5 or even 10 times more .

    Some of the dirt cheap second hand amps are sounding really good like DJ had said, The NAIM I and A1 (which I had owned) are both great sounding amps at reasonable price and you can understand why manufacturers are milking the fame of their older models and put out re-issue versions at many times more than the second hand prices~ though internal circuitry may be different but not necesarily better!

    As well educated and seasoned veterans of HiFi world, we don't use eyes to assess the quality of HiFi equipment!!! It is your ears, that is the second most important and number 1 most expensive hifi equipment and the most important of all, is your valuable knowhow, both stupid decisions based on vanity and heresay made over the journey of seeking for HiFi Nirvana, as well as successful experience accumulated over the years and your openmindedness to accept new things, like cheapo Chinese Class D amps and like DJ had said, dirt cheap tube ones too, streaming , all the odds things (tested with your ears of coz) like earthing with different materials and equipment, power supply etc.

    Once again, I wish all readers of Cheaptubeaudio blog can benefit somehow from the experienced Doctor John and many other contributors . I cherished this space and to me, it is a fresh stream comapre to all HiFi muddy rivers! !

    Have fun!!!!