View Full Version : Magic

07-02-2010, 03:14 PM
At last I found out what differs between todays products and yesterdays... It's not only my age. I'm sitting here and listen to "If you could read my mind" and remember when I heard it through some L-100s or 65s or 19s or you name them... That was MAGIC! Today there's no magic. I visited the last CES in Vegas and it was great but no... magic. Or is it my age... Don't no but there is still magic in those vintage products :-)

07-02-2010, 05:30 PM
I was driving to work this morning and "Refugee" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers came on. The first thing I thought of was that brand new pair of JBL 4355's, they hadn't even been formally put into production yet; That was the first tune I heard on them all those years ago. It was exciting and it was magic.

Titanium Dome
07-02-2010, 10:16 PM
What you guys are remembering is true enough. There are many songs that really only sound right if I play them on my L100s or even some of the '90s stuff on my L7s. It is magic, even if nostalgic and romanticized.

Still, the recordings on SACD, DVD-A, DTS, etc. that I've only heard on my Performance Series, XPLs, S/2600s or Synthesis® gear really sound pretty shitty on the vintage gear. In fact, the Beatles Love DVD-A is killer on these modern systems and crap on the older stuff. Yet, when I bought the Beatles stereo USB remasters, they still sounded better--more like I thought they should sound--on the L100s where I first heard them than on the new stuff.

I'm not disagreeing with you; I'm simply balancing the equation based on my experience. I'm one of those people who does not believe it has to be either/or. I believe it can be both. :)

07-03-2010, 01:22 AM
I think one of the problems is that today's "music" isn't building any memories for us. Nightmares maybe, but not memories.

I checked YouTube to see if "Refugee" was up. This quote in the comments pretty much summed it up:

GHgirl620 (http://www.youtube.com/user/GHgirl620) 2 months ago 92 http://s.ytimg.com/yt/img/pixel-vfl73.gif now THIS is music. not the crap we have now

This is the general theme in alot of the videos I've looked up. Even the young kids can tell the difference between something like DSOTM and the garbage today... That era was totally overloaded with scores of talents that fed off each other. The depth and breadth of top quality music they produced back then is staggering.

The production value of alot of today's garbage is atrocious. Not only does the music SUCK, so do the "engineers" laying it down. There's some good tunes still, to be sure, but they're exceptions rather than the norm.

07-03-2010, 02:54 AM
... magic. Or is it my age...
For me the magic is everywhere but not noticable at anytime.

<I remember the first bass horn, Sgt.Peppers, Some really good studio works, surround sound, a new listening room ...

When searching for some music I'm often stuck to music of the sixties/seventies ... :hmm:And then there is the music of my youth of course.

Titanium Dome
07-03-2010, 08:33 AM
I think this song sounds best on my car radio, seriously. It's a frequent play on The Sound LA (KSWD-FM 100.3), and every time it comes on, I have to turn up the radio, bob my head, and sing along. :bouncy: This ruins the song for anyone else in the car of course.

But it's how I remember the song.

For a farm kid from Ohio, I've had some wonderful opportunities in my life, and music has always framed the experience. From Toot, Toot, Tootles The Tugboat on a 45 RPM mono turntable to Summer Sun (4 Strings) on a HDD playing in 7.1, major events, relationships, and life changes are tagged by songs. Hearing them has the magic to transport me immediately to that place and time..

You guys probably are talking about it in a larger context than I, so I should butt out. Hope I did not misdirect your thread too much. :)

07-03-2010, 10:16 AM
Before my first "hifi" system provided by Radio Shack kicked off my audio bug my reference was the car am and friend's systems of varying levels of crap.

I recall visiting a new friend's house one day late sixties or perhaps early seventies. His brother had JBL L100 speakers and, for the time, a fairly high powered amp. I had heard Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf so many times but never really "heard it" until I heard through those JBLs. I recall being so focused on the organ that previously had always been buried in the mish-mash of terrible sound. I just sat there "watching" the right side of the musical image as if (forgot his name, dang it) the organ player was actually in the room.

I realized from that experience that there is a vitual stage in the recording. Depth, width, the ability to hear the individuals in the mix. Before it was, I guess, just the mid band, highly compressed, indistinct, not 3-D, hardly even 2D.

To this day when I hear the song my attention zeros in on that B3 organ just like that one day so many years ago.

07-03-2010, 10:25 AM
I hear you. :yes: It's amazing how many people have heard a tune countless times without really hearing it. Then they hear it on a particular system and it takes on a whole new life.

07-03-2010, 10:31 AM
I've revisited the same music with the same speakers 30 years later and can't help wondering if the drivers are just old and tired. I can remember the travel on 15" woofer on the L-300s and the 12" 0n the L-65s traveling much more back in the day as compared to the same drivers refoamed. As for as the music goes I haven't seen the frequency of really good recordings today as compared to the 70s. I'm sure my hearing isn't as good as it was but some of the crap that's produced now sounds like it was created on a laptop. It's amazing when you hear some good new music. Dosen't come as often but it sure makes you sit up!

scott fitlin
07-03-2010, 11:51 AM
My view on music is that today is that while music has DEFINITELY changed, there is music AND magic out there. The MAGIC is harder to find because since the advent of digital music production, there is so much more music, be it mediocre or phenomenal music, available. For me, I find myself LOVING some things, and marveling at how cool, or good they did something using new technologies or new ides. And I find myself listening to something and wondering WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Or, WHAT CRAP THIS IS!

"I" personally catch myself thinking along the same lines of what my parents, grandparents, and other elders once use to say to me when I was THE YOUNG GENERATION, and people said to me what I was listening and dancing to wasn't music! But, I would look at them quizically, and wonder what was wrong with them! And, while I agree that todays music is different than what "WE" grew up on, I also find many tunes that are musical, have great melodies, vocals, instrumentation, composition, production, and arrangement. I can very much understand that it is sometimes hard to accept the new ways as being REAL, as music was once people playing instruments, and today is people programming computers, sequencers, modules and plug ins and electronics.

Then, I also have another perspective, because I purchase, procure, select, program, and play pre-recorded music professionally. I look beyond what "I" think, and what "I" like, and have over the years honed my ability to read my audience, and know how to predict successfully the NEXT BIG SOUNDS or HITS as well as play to my room and audience and lead them in MY own particular direction. Some of the things I feel, see, hear and notice is how todays music, technology, and music makers has finally matured, and come into it's own to the point where IT IS GOOD NOW! 10 years ago music was at a standstill because we were in between proper musicians, EXPERIENCED production, tried and true GOOD analog recording and playback gear, and BIG BUDGET productions. And we were going full force into digital playback, digital and electronic production, LOW BUDGET MUSIC PRODUCTIONS, with many music makers that were/are young, and were inexperienced at the time. As well, much of the digital music production, sounds, and playback media were very inferior to what "WE" had become accustomed to, and was OUR standards.

So, today, we now have producers, artists, and electronic musicians that are maturing, and have matured. We have digital production gear, and playback gear that IS quite good these days, albeit different from what MY generations state of the art analog audio was! What I hear and feel in the music of NOW is once again, VARIETY, VOCALS, electronic music with emotion, composition, instrumentation, and FIDELITY! However, unlike 1979 when I was in the record stores all over Manhattan, searching and buying vinyl, or 1999 when I was all over buying CD,s, today I am all over the internet at online music retailers purchasing music in a downloadable format. And, unlike just 5 years ago, when downloads pretty much were a cheap sounding, low rez format, and the music was lame, today we have good sounding downloads, and good music available, and IT WILL CONTINUE to get even better, as it is still fairly young, and has ways to go! Another thing I have been noticing over the last three years is HOW MUCH music is available. Sure it isn't all great, or even good. But 20 and 30 years ago, the 50 records that came out in a 2 week period weren't either. Today I search through hundreds and thousands of titles weekly. My current library of tunes that I am using right now, this years music, has swelled to 3500 titles. My ears tell me todays digital productions and playback gear has become MUCH better than what we had just a few short years before. Honestly, some of it sounds VERY good. And in some ways SURPASSES what we could do or get out of the analog medias. By the same token, we also have an over abundance of CHEAP mass market products and music, too.

About music playback gear, sadly, there is a ton of BAD junk portrayed to us as being all that. But there is also quality music playback gear too! And, unfortunately, THE GOOD STUFF has become exorbitantly and prohibitively expensive. And, just like the music, there is so much more gear available to look at and shop than ever before, and does become confusing to the inexperienced, and even the experienced, I believe!

I listened to and played music on basically the same school of gear from the early 70,s to the turn of the century. I always did improvements, upgraded from good phono cartridges to better, went from good EQ,s to the BEST of the type of EQ I was using, upgraded to from one amp to the next and latest offerings from the brand I use, etc! And, up until the mid 90,s it always worked, the sound was excellent, and consistent, and I had become set in my ways and always figured as long as I kept doing what I did, everything would always sound great. And, just like everyone else, one day it no longer sounded good. And the brands of audio gear I grew up with, and had grown accustomed to and dependent upon either completely changed their lines, or went out of business. At the same time, the music changed, completely, and I both DID NOT LIKE what I could get, and was unwilling to accept the fact that things were changing, and had to change if I was to get anything good from what we have to use these days!

I would take my new music home with me every week, to listen to and become familiar with. At home, I listened to records through JBL 4312 monitors as well as other things I have, I have had these speakers since I was 15 or 16, and were/are among one of my favorite small speaker systems. At work I played my music through my grand and HUGE JBL and ALTEC system, and one day NOTHING sounded good anymore, all the new music just didn't sound right. At the same time when I would hear the music of the moment on other peoples newer systems, and while maybe not to the nnnth degree of sonic perfection, I began hearing the new music sounding good. One day, I decided to get with what's happening, and I endeavored to recreate my system so TODAYS music can sound as spectacular as it did with yesterdays. And it was worth the work, and the time to invent my own NEW recipe for sound. Now, I hear todays music, and IT SOUNDS GREAT, and I hear music in todays music too. There most definitely is magic in my room, in the music itself, and the system. Getting to this level is much costlier than it once was, but it is out there and can be done. I know because I did it, and ONCE I GOT MYSELF sorted I have not yet looked back on " THE GOOD OLD DAYS", I am just too busy inventing " THE GREAT AND PROMISING TOMORROW"!


07-05-2010, 12:34 PM
I have been searching for that "magic" for almost 2 years now, I can say I finally found it! With my L7, L5 and L custom center surround system I have finally found that magic after several combination of amps, positioning and tweaking I can make anything from vinyl to SACD surround sound magical. Reading this site along with a few others can really give you the knowledge and know how to help someone find that "magic":applaud: you seek.
Most importantly the wife appreciates it. Just last week we were at out local watering hole and this guy sets up this DJ/Karaoke system he carries around to different places. It had these big Yamaha speakers and a crown pro amp playing tunes off of a laptop and cd player. We could not wait to get out of there rinse out ears out with our system at home! No comparison not even close!

07-05-2010, 05:36 PM
I hear you. :yes: It's amazing how many people have heard a tune countless times without really hearing it. Then they hear it on a particular system and it takes on a whole new life.

Or one that no system will do justice to except the one you heard it on first. Like Ray Charles doin' "What'd I Say" on a poolhall Seeburg juke. Or Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight".

07-06-2010, 10:49 AM
As young boy Classical music was the main music of the house, but then we also had Spike Jones records. My family had two Church organists, my mother was a operatic trained soprano, my older brother was child prodigy, became a Church organist at 16.
I was the rebel took up guitar and bass and played rock & roll. I have exposed to all sorts of music, music for the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, etc. For me the song needs to have a good melody, the ones that do seam to last.
Can anyone sing a Britney Spears song? About 10 years ago a reporter did a servery and asked teenagers to sing one of Britney's songs very few could. I have a feeling that if you asked today's teenager if they could sing a Taylor Swift song most of them could.
What makes the difference? Maybe the difference is good song with a good melody.