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In the Forum: Playback Listening
In the Thread: We don’t necessarily know “Why”, nor do we need to….
Post Subject: ML2, Hegel, Kant…. and the tube dampers…Posted by Romy the Cat on: 11/23/2006

 Paul S wrote:
So what are we to make of a product like the ML2 amps (using them here only as an example, not a topic)?  I have to say I more or less took a flyer on these, since I never heard them in a system I could stand before I up and bought them, and I well knew in advance the limits and limitations of SETs topological terms.  But now that I have them in my own system they don't sound like any SETs I have heard before.  In fact, they don't sound much like any amps I have heard before in terms of character.  And this raises lots of questions for me in terms of my "knowledge" about hi-fi electronic genres, since I am not sure in a technical sense what makes this amp so special.  OTOH, it has to be "something", and I do plan to figure it out as I listen.

While I can't argue with the observation that we "don't know what sounds good", I can observe for myself that Romy took some ideas from the ML2s (and, no doubt, other electronic stuff) when he "deduced" the Melquiades, which are, after all, an amalgamation of memories, both memories of sound and memories of electronics with which Romy has formed associations.

So here is another case for knowing something about the workings of the gear. Even if it does not solve the question of "circuit supremacy" it does suggest both the existence and value of a "working knowledge" of the gear.

It appears to me that the "problem" is not so much with knowledge of electronics, per se, but rather with current evaluative methods and methodologies and the developmental processes stemming from these methods and methodologies.  Basically, there seems to be a disconnect between what we know about electronics and what we hear, and how we use what we hear to change what we "know" about electronics.

It has long seemed to me that those who know the most about electronics, per se, are different people than those who know the most about music, per se.  Yet it has also been clear for some time that it takes more than a melding of both interests to render good hi-fi.

But learning to listen is not just a technique, it is a process.  And likely the "knowledge" of hi-fi must transform itself on both fronts, listening and knowledge about the workings of the gear and how that relates to what we hear.

I am reluctant to let go of the idea that I can keep track of what sounds right to me.  I would rather expand my knowledge than adopt a random approach borne of dispair of knowledge.
Sure, the odder ML2 was probably the best educational tool I had in audio. I never was kidding saing that many people out there, even among those who are using older ML2, hardly understand how to use it. I do not mean the selection of speakers or tubes but I mean a recognition now ML2 is capable to “work” with listening awareness and in a way to sahpe awareness in a certain format. I clearly recognize that before ML2 I have seen audio from a very different perspective and frankly speaking, as I understand now, it was quite stupid perspective . The most interesting thing about ML2 that it did NOT show HOW the things should be done but rather ML2 encouraged to think about the nature of the things and stimulated to develop own sight. I have no problems to call myself as the ML2’s graduate...

However, it was my ways and it certainly not the only way. I come to high-end audio with a certain baggage of prerequisites and with certain amount of margins. In my case the ML2 was a useful schooling.

it is important to understand that when we learns anything in audio we do not really take in and embrace the new things but rather discover the “correct” answers with ourselves. We do have all answers built in within us and all that we need to do it juts to find the patterns according to winch out consciousness could dig the “realizations” out. It is not about knowing “what sounds good" but rather having within ourselves a keys to the mechanisms that would allow to objectively asses how our inner-us react to different sonic irritations… It is just about honesty, sensitivity, own sense of values and ability to extrapolate the views creatively via external metaphoric symbolism (sound in the given case).


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