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#2884684 - 10/12/17 06:19 PM Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury
Dave Ferris Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5505
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Since I'm laid up with this fractured pelvis and haven't been able to practice, much less work the past 6-7 weeks, I've been doing a lot of listening - mostly CDs from my fairly healthy collection that I haven't listened to in years. I also bought some new ones, something else I haven't done in years. Don't do digital downloads.

About 10 days ago I splurged and bought a pair of the newer Neumann KH80 desk top speakers and the Grace M900 DAC/headphone amp.

I have an older 2009 iMac with the CD drive and I'm going into the USB input on the Grace. I was a little worried - not being a computer/tech guy- that my OS usb audio drivers wouldn't support the Grace. But after a phone call to the tech guys at Grace- very cool and knowledgable folks- I went for it. Hooked up the M900, selected USB and the thing just worked.

For someone who normally doesn't do a lot of extended listening - simply because I spend a lot of time at the piano , or working, and I like to give my ears a rest when not in that mode - I have to say these new purchases have really transformed my life in regard to listening to music.

All the old classic Blue Note stuff sounds like you are in the room with Sonny Clark. And contemporary recordings are stunning. Classical piano and orchestral recordings - Wow! Even my amateur attempts at recording my piano sounds good.

The Grace DAC compared to my iMac headphone out - I simply can't verbalize the night and day difference sonically. And the Neumanns compared to my older but decent KRK VXT4s is like another world as well. And needless to say, the sound through my Senn HD650s is fantastic too.

I have some older DynAudio BM6A mkIIs in the studio. I used to do monitoring with them when I was in the solo piano recording mode. These days about the only use they see is playback on my vocal lessons for practice.

Out of curiosity I had Diane schlep one of the Dyns into the house ( not supposed to be lifting even lightweight objects till next week) to compare with the Neumann. Even though the BM6a was a slightly larger sound because of the 7" woofer, the clarity and depth of soundstage on the Neumann blew them away. Plus the KH80s fit perfectly on my small office desk.

I'm on the mend after an horrific month of Sept. Yesterday I got in 63 minutes of practice - 30 minutes on transposing a 4 bar Kenny Barron line on "Beautiful Love" to all 12 keys and 33 minutes on a pair of Chopin Etudes. This was the longest I've played since the 2nd week of August. I'm back able to be driving a car just for short distances. The Ortho cleared me for light walking around the neighborhood next Tuesday at Day 42 since shutting everything down on Sept. 6. Still have a ways to go but the worst is behind me.

Between the Baseball playoffs and the new speakers/DAC, the time is going much faster. smile
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2005 NY Steinway D
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#2884686 - 10/12/17 06:34 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: Dave Ferris]
waygetter Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/11/07
Posts: 339
Loc: Sausalito, CA
I read the header and thought you were talking about some kind of loud audio blast injured your ears!

Man, that sounds really painful, glad you're on the mend.. get well

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#2884687 - 10/12/17 06:39 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: waygetter]
Rally Offline
Member

Registered: 05/03/14
Posts: 18
Hi Dave, glad to hear you are on the mend. What led you to the Neumann speakers? I am considering the KH 120's, in a bedroom studio type of situation. It sounds as though your are pleased with the Neumann's, any thoughts or suggestions? Wishing you a speedy recovery.

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#2884691 - 10/12/17 06:47 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: Rally]
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 5273
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Good for you, Dave. A worthy endeavor while you're healing up. I missed that you ran into this unfortunate injury - but glad to hear your on your way back to the bench.
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#2884699 - 10/12/17 07:16 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: ElmerJFudd]
burningbusch Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/22/00
Posts: 7586
Loc: Ghost Planet
Sorry to hear about your accident Dave. I must have missed the memo. Get well.

Busch.

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#2884707 - 10/12/17 07:39 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: burningbusch]
George88 Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 04/13/12
Posts: 701
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Sorry to hear about your accident Dave. I must have missed the memo. Get well.

Busch.


Ditto! Take care, Dave.

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#2884713 - 10/12/17 07:53 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: George88]
clawback Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 05/11/04
Posts: 3229
Loc: Canada
Hey Dave - Guess I missed the memo too, but glad to see you're on the mend.

Thanks for the review!
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#2884716 - 10/12/17 08:19 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: clawback]
matted stump Offline
Grand Poobah of the Trebuchet
10k Club

Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 15347
Wha hoppened?
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#2884717 - 10/12/17 08:47 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: burningbusch]
count doerflera Offline
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Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 6260
Loc: thin ice
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Sorry to hear about your accident Dave. I must have missed the memo. Get well.

evidently we all missed the memo. Get well soon, Dave. cheers
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I need to practice more than I do, and that will make my current gear - first rate, by any measure - sound even better than it already does.
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#2884726 - 10/12/17 09:30 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: count doerflera]
Frightful Mike Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/05/12
Posts: 2692
Originally Posted By: count doerflera
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Sorry to hear about your accident Dave. I must have missed the memo. Get well.

evidently we all missed the memo. Get well soon, Dave. cheers

Yes me too. Get well soon Dave Best wishes.
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#2884787 - 10/13/17 09:00 AM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: Frightful Mike]
DarkyLord Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/10/01
Posts: 5008
Loc: Springfield, Virginia
Hey cool - just checked out each one of those pieces. 108 peak SPL? That's a lot of umf for such a small speaker!

Also wishing you a speedy recovery.

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#2884823 - 10/13/17 10:29 AM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: Rally]
Dave Ferris Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5505
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: Rally
What led you to the Neumann speakers? I am considering the KH 120's, in a bedroom studio type of situation. It sounds as though your are pleased with the Neumann's, any thoughts or suggestions?


A Grammy Award winning Classical Recording Engineer on Gearslutz recommended the KH80s. He prefers the entire Neumann line for acoustic music -both classical and jazz- monitoring/mixing/mastering and just plain listening enjoyment.

If I would've had wall space for speaker stands in the bedroom, I would've gone for the KH120s. Again though the KH80s, along with the small footprint of the Grace, fit nicely on my small desk.

This particular engineer tried to talk me into getting the new Cranesong Solaris Quantum DAC. He said it's the greatest sounding DAC on the market right now - at any price. Still at $1900, it's a bit rich for my budget and humble purposes. Plus it's a 1U rack, not a desktop unit.

Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Sorry to hear about your accident Dave. I must have missed the memo. Get well.

Busch.


Thanks everyone for the nice thoughts. Yes I mentioned it briefly in that Shameless plug thread- Jazz vs Cancer - last month. Although at the time of the Fundraiser, I didn't know it was a fracture.

Originally Posted By: matted stump
Wha hoppened?


If interested, I sort of chronicled what happened here on FB.
https://www.facebook.com/dave.ferris.125323/posts/1908617632725814?hc_location=ufi

Basically Mr. Know-it-all should have gotten an MRI at the end of June when all this started flaring up. But past experience with piriformis syndrome led me to believe I could just work through it by just reducing mileage, aggressive deep tissue massage, more stretching and weights that targeted that specific area. When in reality, it was all just making things worse. rolleyes blush

As Cole Porter said - it was just one of those things.
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https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

2005 NY Steinway D
Yamaha CP4, CP5

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#2884883 - 10/13/17 02:20 PM Re: Somewhat OT: New desktop listening experience/injury [Re: Dave Ferris]
keyguy Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 01/26/05
Posts: 567
Loc: Tallahassee, FL
Best wishes from Florida a speedy recovery, Dave!
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Tallahassee, FL

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