583 Comments
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

For those that missed it, Jack got tagged in the BAT comments almost immediately, on the "lunch with Mark Ruess" charity auction

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/lunch-with-gm-president/

User esiedlecki has suggested that everyone pitch in to make Jack the winner of the lunch date.

I'm all for it, as long as its live-streamed!!!

Expand full comment
Apr 3·edited Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

YES

infinitely better than gofund me

as much as it would be funny to dunk on him and mock him for binning a zr1 on live television having the dude be aware of you would be insane for a resume or getting a job at gm

Expand full comment

If Jack wins, Mark won't show up.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

incredibly lame

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Sadly, life is so often like that.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Wtf is that headshot. More airbrushing than a kardashian

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

🎶 If I had a million dollars / I'd buy you lunch with Reuss 🎶

Expand full comment
author

But not a real Mark Reuss, that's cruel

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Is this the hillbilly car dork version of getting Portnoy a sit down with NFL commish Gooddell? Or is that this hillbilly football version of this? Or are we all just hillbillies? I know I am. At least strongly hillbilly adjacent.

Expand full comment

Everybody here is cultured sir.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

I’ve been told by my Southern neighbors that the politically correct term is “Mountain People”.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Or "Country Gentleman" .

That's my story and I'll stick with it .

-Nate

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

As a fan of the late Chet Atkins, I can’t help but endorse this!

Expand full comment
author

That was a VERY expensive guitar, too. You needed to be a country gentleman.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

"Guillaumes des montagnes"

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

My bizarre roots lead me to conclude I’m an honorary Hillbilly: dad from Northern WV, his dad grew up in NYC, my mom’s family is a farming family from Calhoun County, WV. Spent probably equal time as a kid catching crawdads in WV creeks and hanging out at Sea Pines in Hilton Head. Now, I live about as close to Pittsburgh as I can without paying PA taxes.

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I love my Southern neighbors and their Scots-Irish independent streak. I also love their knowledge of local history. The family names on our local monuments are those of families that are still here. I have talked about Revolutionary War battle sites with the most unlikely people down here and their knowledge is great.

The Cowpens National Battlefield is not far from me, and well worth a stop to see an unremarkable bit of scrub pasture land where the future of this country was changed in less than an hour. Be sure to talk to the park rangers, as they can add a lot of color about the battlefield and let you know about other NPS sites in the region. https://www.nps.gov/cowp/learn/historyculture/the-battle-of-cowpens.htm

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

New profile pic: Spritle sitting at the house my Great Grandfather built and my Mom was born in and that didn't have indoor plumbing til the early seventies. I was born in a small hospital 20 miles away as the crow flies, 29 by road. I've got the bill for my birth somewhere, it was about $200.

Definite hillbilly.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

ACF might be the only place you’re going to find a guy who reads both Lapham’s Quarterly and the Calhoun County, WV Hur Herald.

Expand full comment
author

I suspect the overlap is higher than one might suspect, at least for rural papers as a class.

Expand full comment

www.hurherald.com is unfortunately online only but offers a fascinating view into hillbilly life past and present. It's very unique.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

*shoots vodka out nose*

Guess who's coming to dinner? Bwahaha

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Paging @ShermanMcCoy

Paging Sherman McCoy

Expand full comment
author

Not sure if this comment is threaded right, but my hillbilly bona fides are ironclad.

Expand full comment

The current bid is only $10,000. We should set up a crowdfunding page.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

$1, Bob.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

$1.50 and he wrecks your pace car.

Expand full comment
author

I have a back of the burner plan to have a mural of that painted on my barn.

Expand full comment

I love how the BaT commenters have brought up the pace car incident and GM’s reputation.

Expand full comment

The dude makes Rick Wagoner look like Lee Iacocca...

Expand full comment

I'd rather see Michael Moore and a film crew show up in their comp'ed china-made rental Buick. But Jack is a solid back-up plan.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

"Any action taken against the frosted-tip superstar should result in the atomic erasure of Tel Aviv."

this better already be the foreign policy

also that porsche widowmaker gt2 sounds awesome and potentially a good candidate for boost by gear or at least a more competent ecu tuning as ots standalone units have come a long way in *checks calendar* 15 years

and if i get selected for the drivin' for harambe thing ill make a concerted effort to get all three miatas in one pic

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

A strike against Flavortown is a strike against humanity!

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

we were always at war with flavortown

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

I’m down to Harambe.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

The hypocrisy of the hand wringing over the blown-to-bits cooks is right on brand for the Current Year. I would have been more surprised over any other reaction.

Now busy imagining a world where all celebrity chefs are on the receiving end of a R9X Hellfire missle, leaving only Mr Fieri and his bitchin' Camaro. Hmm. I actually think I like that world.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

on this episode of triple d we're checking out a un aid station

Expand full comment
founding
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

I used to hate Guy’s character. Now, I’m unironically a huge fan.

He’s dedicated most of his career to propping up small business. Sure his personal taste may be a bit suspect, but so is mine.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth
author

Fieri's crime is being lowbrow about

FOOD

the only legitimate interest of any high-income woman in America, except of course for

TRAVEL

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Even the most expensive meal will be....something else...in about 24 hrs.

Expand full comment

Uh...NOT an investment?

Expand full comment
Apr 3·edited Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

I honestly had to look Mr. Fieri up...born in Columbus, Ohio.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I wonder if he poured one out when the Dube died.

Expand full comment
author

I met him once at Road America. He asked me for a lighter.

He was piloting a customized golf cart featuring lightning bolts.

Expand full comment

Seems on-brand. I heard that his extensive hot rod collection is entirely YELLOW.

Expand full comment

I don't go anywhere anymore but when I used to, I'd always look up what DDD locations were featured there and try one out. Always good.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Best meal I had in Hawaii was a Triple D shrimp truck. Way better than the $500 meal at Four Seasons.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I’ve never watched his show and not immediately wanted to go eat at whatever place he is featuring.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

We went to the pizza joint in downtown Jackson, WY last fall. The food was excellent. The places he has been to here in Nashville are good eats ({Trademark symbol} Alton Brown).

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

And guess who was never mentioned in the wave of celebrity chef sexual harassment allegations?

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Wish that I had back the time I spent watching the chump who revised favorite recipes for lower fat and calories- and was cancelled after one season by a prosecution for the attempted murder of his wife, never mind Mario Batali.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

What

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Juan-Carlos Cruz, host of "Calorie Commando" et cetera. 'Hired' a couple of homeless dudes to kill his spouse. Instead they finked, IIRC. Quite the career trajectory- from network TV host to a nine year sentence.

(In all seriousness, we often just left FOOD on while my pals' toddler daughter was playing and adults chatting. That I've wasted grey cells remembering is a separate tragedy.)

In any case I'd give odds that Fieri will die a beloved old celebrity, unlike many.

Expand full comment
author

Fieri didn't need to take the pussy. It was VOLUNTEERED to him.

Expand full comment

note to self:

get frosted tips

Expand full comment

(and fame and wealth)

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Surely if you're working in a war zone you expect to die?

Australian PM is demanding answers from IDF like he's some sort of hard hitting hero but he's never demanded answers from Hamas. Never even demanded answers from his own government. Didn't even have the courage to keep the Australian embassy in Jerusalem. Our Foreign Secretary is a Chinese lesbian so I don't know why I expect so much from the government.

Expand full comment
author

"Surely if you're working in a war zone you expect to die?"

That's the wacky thing about this "war". The more I read, the more ad hoc the whole thing sounds. You have "safe streets", you can call the IDF and ask them not to strike you at such and such a time. Hamas gets about 100x the privileges of some dude in the USA who cuts a shotgun barrel a quarter inch short.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Perhaps the war would be over if Israel pursued a more intense strategy:

https://philip.greenspun.com/blog/2024/03/27/israels-military-strategy-in-gaza-compared-to-covid-lockdowns/

Or perhaps not. Bill Maher (not 100% impartial here either) claims that the Palestinians were offered about 96% under Clinton and rejected it. They would probably keep fighting no matter what the losses (like Imperial Japan, according for the rationale for going nuclear). And then Israel would be seen as having committed genocide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP-CRXROorw

Expand full comment

In an interesting twist, last week Hamas officially denied an al-Jazeera report that said that IDF soldiers were sexually abusing Gazan women. They were worried that reports of rape would cause mass flight. It's pretty well documented that false claims by the Arab leadership of rapes at Deir Yassin were a factor in persuading Arabs to run away in 1948. Rape is stigmatizing in a lot of cultures. http://gadflyonline.com/home/index.php/purim-my-bangladeshi-friend/

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I wonder how much of this (Rotherham is the most famous, but sadly, it happened in many other cities) was about sexual gratification, and how much of it was a form of territorial conquest?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10941619/The-damning-verdict-police-failed-Rotherham-victims.html

"More than 1,400 girls were groomed, trafficked and abused by Asian sex gangs between 1997 and 2013..."

EDITED to add quotes.

Expand full comment

A little of both, I would imagine.

For Americans, Sir Morris' use of the word Asian is a euphemism for Pakistanis, not east Asians.

Rape as a part of tribal and military conflicts, as well as its flip side, women under occupation voluntarily having relations with the occupiers, is an uncomfortable topic. Even when rape isn't a military tactic as it probably was as Russia advanced in Germany, soldiers can do bad stuff. Something like 400 American GIs were prosecuted for rape in occupied France.

One in every 200 men on earth are descended from Genghis Khan in part because the Mongol Hordes took the raping part of raping and pillaging seriously and in part because women wanted to get with him.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

You almost make me revoke my views on gun laws!

One of the great benefits of this blog is that it has shown me gun access v regulation has an entirely different meaning within the USA to outside the USA.

Expand full comment
Apr 3·edited Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

I think that the "quarter inch short" was a reference to this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Ridge

Interestingly, there were no charges against any of those killed (son, wife, and dog), and Randy Weaver was acquitted of all charges except for missing a court date (although the letter informing him of his court date listed the WRONG DATE).

Expand full comment
author

Yes, I was.

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 7

All you need is a tape measure for chrissakes .

'gun control' should mean free mandatory firearms training .

It's the right (and cheaper) thing to do .

I wish I knew where my photo of me holding a vintage Thompson .45 cal. sub machine gun was, I'd share it here .

-Nate

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Wondered if he was trying to live up to the Abbot shirtfronting Putin thing...

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Interesting!😄

Rule 6: Prime Ministers shall shirt-front any political leader they deem responsible for the death of an Australian citizen.

Rule 7: No poofters......

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Defined for USAmericans (a/k/a Seppos): vigorously confront or challenge.

"he shirtfronted Skelton when he arrived in Alice Springs ahead of the election, demanding that he declare his relationship with Rogers"

Expand full comment
author

Ah. I've been shirtfronting people for a long time, I guess.

Expand full comment

The university of wollamaloo is a fine institution...

Expand full comment

Poofters are _not_ the problem, paedophiles is .

-Nate

Expand full comment

While we're on the subject, I read an (unsourced / ymmv) tweet alleging that World Central Kitchen is a US intelligence cutout. Jose Andres has a position with the US fed gov, multiple contracts for his businesses, presence in ukraine (?) and syria (!!!), cooperation from and protection by state-aligned armed forces...

One must be wary of such pat explanations, but it would make things make a lot more sense, if true

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Always a Like for a Dead Milkmen reference.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Is a 991.2 or 992 GTS equivalent enough to a 997 GT2? The numbers are similar, and a 991.2 can be had for a lot less. I shopped 997 turbos a bit but went with a newer car to daily drive worry free.

Expand full comment
author

"The numbers are similar, and a 991.2 can be had for a lot less."

There's a reason for that. The old car has the Mezger engine, the 997 proportions, and the limited production. They'd be nothing alike to drive -- you'll have more commonality between a 991 and a Panamera Turbo.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

997 GT2 is peak water cooled Porsche for me. Thanks for helping to increase their value before I can afford one, not that I ever could…

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

I’d be down for Drivin’ With Harambe… any rando at a gas station always wanted to talk about my former Boxster, but this audience seems much more receptive to S600 blathering.

Expand full comment
author

ARE WE EVER

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Please, yes! Such a heat little machine!

Expand full comment

since when is an s class merc little

Expand full comment

I thought he meant the Honda.

Expand full comment

i thought he had one too but i didnt want to waste the opportunity to make a bad joke

Expand full comment

S-Klasse Mercs are nice to be sure but SO GODDAMN BIG .

-Nate

Expand full comment

I think I’ve had more people come up and chat about my Miata than my Boxster.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Miata drivers are approachable. Boxster drivers obviously put on airs and use the king's own tailor for their suits.

Expand full comment
author

I can't afford to repair a Boxster AND buy the shirts though.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

The cost of purchase is NOT the cost of ownership.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

can confirm

i am not allowed to be introverted

not that i am anyway but if you buy one especially a clean one and the top is down you have to expect attention

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Open Thread Question for the ACF hive- I've been rocking vintage 70's stereo equipment for a while now (currently Pioneer SX1250, Optonica RP-3636 composite plinth turntable, Acoustic Research LST speakers and various other components as needed) but thinking of moving into the modern era. I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MODERN EQUIPMENT. So treating me as such, what should a person look at to set up a new system? Not low end but not looking at $10,000 turntables either. Throw some advice a brother's way.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

I’m awful at recommendations, so I’ll just mention what I’ve got for the music I enjoy (smooth jazz, yacht rock, 80s Britpop/New Wave). Your mileage may vary.

For music, I’ve got a bit of a bastard system, as I’m more into headphones for music consumption. I bought Jack’s pair of Focal Elex headphones last fall and paired them with a wonderful—and cheap, and Made In The U.S.A.!—Schiit Magni+ DAC/amp. But for the turntable side of things, I’ve got an old (vintage, as people my age are wont to say) Beogram 4002 linear-tracker that I’ve slowly been restoring.

Working on upgrading my living room multichannel system this year… picked up a B&K Reference 200.7 S2 (7ch x 200wpc) and a Schiit Syn matrix surround preamp to drive my ancient mishmash of speakers. Haven’t decided whether I want to add three more JBL L100T3s to the two I already have, or if I want to go more esoteric (Magneplanars, B&W 801s, &c.).

Whether headphone or two-channel, I can’t recommend Schiit’s gear enough. All made in the USA by people who give a damn—their founder spills a lot of ink over on Head-Fi about their design rationale—and is often cheaper than the Chinese competition. (Not sponsored; just love when a company is honest and passionate.)

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

I had a B&K for a while but I found that it covered highs too much. I replaced it with a giant Adcom and was much happier. Your mileage may vary if you are into "smooth" or "mellow" sound; I like it technical and accurate.

Expand full comment

B&K's were made (IMHO) more for the Magnaplaner type speakers (which I had for years) and those need the high end bias because they so easily drive the lows.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Amplifiers all sound pretty similar before they run out of power. Some speakers with odd impedance curves are hard to drive and may need specific amp characteristics, but that is unusual. In most cases, if an amp sounds a little "hot" in the highs, all it takes is a touch of EQ to get it to sound he same as another amp. And by a "touch" I mean maybe half a dB over a broad shelf (one cannot even hear half a dB if it is a narrow notch).

Replacing non-broken amplifiers to implement tone control is not a very efficient solution. I will note that the big Adcoms were better into difficult loads than many amps, so you may have had a specific problem that amplifier change addressed.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

The speakers involved were indeed difficult (although tremendously rewarding when driven well), but the sound difference between those two amps - with no other change in the chain - was not something that would have been fixed by a touch of EQ here or there. I think I wrote badly in my original post - the problem was the highs were muffled, not too hot. It sounded very much like an attempt to make the sound mellower or smoother, which is something a lot of people like, but not me.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

If an amplifier cannot drive a difficult load, that cannot be fixed with EQ. Agreed. Just pointing out for the benefit of others that that is unusual, and if one has speakers like that one is likely to know it.

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I've been happy with all the Schiit gear that I've bought. Arguably the best bang for the buck and made in the U.S.A. On my main system I'm using one of their phono preamps and a DAC for the audio from my big screen.

When I upgraded my power amp to an Adcom 555 I set up a small system in my grow room with my old 535 power amp, a DVD player and the little Schiit passive switch/volume box.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Schitt makes excellent gear. Pair it with KEF LS50 speakers and a Rega turntable and you''ve got a nice system for not a lot of dough.

Expand full comment

Do you know anyone who has tried the U-Turn Orbit turntable?

Have you seen the prices on vintage ARs and Phillips tables?

I'm happy with my 40 year old Systemdek.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I don't know anyone who has used the U-Turn.

I don't know about vintage Phillips tables, but AR and Thorens (I had a resto-modded Thorens) are lovely turntables. The Thorens is built like a tank and responds nicely to a Rega / Moth tonearm. I used a Dynavector DV20x2 cartridge and loved it. The only reason I replaced it was I got upgradeitis and found a deal on a Pure Fidelity Harmony, which is my end-game turntable.

For anyone interested in a vintage AR or Thorens table, I highly recommend Vinyl Nirvana. Dave Archambault does beautiful restorations and appropriate modifications / upgrades.

Expand full comment

I'm having a bit of a senior moment, maybe you can help. When I was in college a friend of mine got an insane deal on a turntable that was way over-engineered, AR type floating suspension, with a massive, very heavy brass platter, and a wooden base that was narrower at the bottom than at the top. It was made by one of the classic stereo companies from the '50s and '60s, but it was being discontinued and the local stereo salon in Ann Arbor was blowing it out. The definition of built like a tank. I want to say Marantz but that brand name isn't giving me any photos that I recognize (though the Marantz 6300 does appear to be a fine turntable and isn't cheap). Any ideas?

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I just purchased a U-Turn orbit. First gen plus model. For $300 I think it sounds pretty great, but I haven't had a turntable in years. Consensus seems to be the entry level is a good value and the more expensive options are not so competitive.

Expand full comment
author

Honestly, you're going to have to spend no-fuckin-around money to get better amplification than you have now.

If you have ten grand I think I could point you in the right direction. If you have five... probably not.

Now, you could SELL the Pioneer for $2000 easy, which would help. But think about that. There's a reason people are willing to pay that much for it.

Expand full comment
Apr 3·edited Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

🎶 Still have my VCR

Same one I've had for years

When the world is running down

You make the best of what's still around 🎶

- A wise XS11 rider

PS: Creem's StarsCars would be great fodder for an occasional series.

Expand full comment
author

Oh my, you're right!

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

May want to enlist Toly's help with this one:

https://img2.bdbphotos.com/images/orig/9/u/9uaikwqio7reu9i7.jpg

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

That’s a Gordon Keeble. There’s a tortoise on the front badge.

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Thanks; I am embarrassed at my ignorance. Styled by Giugiaro during his Bertone years, so at least my suspicion of Italian influence was correct.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I have a $5k budget and want to amplify two tower speakers to listen to bluegrass, folk, and classical.

I’m open to used or new. I want to play off my iPhone and a Pro-Ject turntable.

Would love to buy from someone on here!

Expand full comment
author

I would sell you my Marantz way below current value.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Vintage stuff likely not going anywhere due to my unreasonable attachment to the '70s. So some 10-15k advice to start with. I just enjoy music - not so pretentious that I think my ears/tastes/lifestyle are that sophisticated.

Expand full comment
author

BRICASTI M15

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4

For $10-15K:

WiiM Pro Plus

plus active speakers:

Dutch and Dutch 8c (I think Jared Harris has them) or

Kii3 (too expensive but really good) or

Sigberg Manta plus subs - if your preference is loud

or if your preference is planar:

Eminent Technology LFT-8c (maybe too much of a hobbyist solution - needs an added active high order crossover to sound right outside of a single seating position) or

Diptyque DP-140 (expensive)

Amplification for non-active speakers only: Hypex NCx-500. Or dual Benchmark (expensive, you do not have to spend that much on amplifiers, but that is as good as they get)

REW and a measurement mic regardless of what you choose to get.

If you answer the list of questions regarding your room, listening distance, type of music and how loud we could be usefully more specific.

Expand full comment

You sound like a pro, are you in the industry?

Expand full comment

Friends were, both on the design/manufacturing side and the studio side. But other than a brief stint in sales almost 50 years ago, nope, not me.

The first of my three careers was engineering R&D (I have a degree in EE) and I put a lot of effort into loudspeaker DIY in the '80's and 90's. I try to keep up.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

If this isn't for a new system to live in a different part of your house entirely, you could get a lot of mileage out of getting a WiiM Mini or Pro to add wireless audio and streaming to your system, and upgrading your speakers. Those classic amplifiers and receivers actually made their rated power into 4 ohms.

Active speaker designs are to me, the most interesting part of the industry right now. The combination of DSP, and modern amplification technology means that you can get performance in a package that would've been unthinkable in the 20th century, e.g. Kali, a company founded by ex-JBL studio monitor engineers. You can also gain convenience with many active speakers integrating wireless audio, and HDMI so you only need to run one cable from your TV to your speakers.

Erin's Audio Corner on YouTube is my go-to resource for speaker reviews. If you're looking at something to integrate with your existing system, you should take a look at the latest Ascend Acoustics speakers (made in the USA!)

Expand full comment

The Ascend Sierra LX I bought are fantastic. Redefined what I thought a bookshelf speaker could do.

Expand full comment

Seconding Midwife Crisis' entire post.

Expand full comment

900 bluetooth speakers arranged in a circle

Expand full comment

Don't you mean "arranged in a sphere"?

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

i mean he needs some way to get into the centre of the circle of bluetooth speakers to discover the true meaning of surround sound

Expand full comment

There's very little modern equipment that's better than what you've got, and how old are your ears? Will you even notice a small difference?

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

"Let's face it, your ears can't tell the difference between AM and FM"

-Red Green (possibly not an exact quote)

Expand full comment

I'm just glad the women find me handy.

Expand full comment

Sadly, I think this is a real thing for us Boomers and Blue Collar workers who's ears have been ruined by TO MUCH LOUD NOISE .

I like to think I can tell the improvement in sound when I upgraded all the speakers in my Ranger trucklet but who knows ? . .

-Nate

Expand full comment
Apr 3·edited Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Leave it the F alone. Stay far away from the home audio vortex of fart-sniffing elitists. It’s a massive time suck, you can get 90% of the performance for 25% of the price, and the purchasers think the more they spend the better their ears are-as if buying the high end gear makes them for to work as mastering engineers-kinda like how a subset of bros think the purchase of fully auto awesomeness means they trained in a host of other adjacent skills.

Expand full comment
author

Exceptionally cruel of you to say, but not wrong.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

Raising my hand asking for recommendations at the 90 for 25 level. I'm cheap and have worsening tinnitus and would like to replace the soundbar I now use. Bluetooth off my phone and turntable.

Expand full comment
author

You should come to StereoLab in Columbus, which has a lot of brilliant older stuff, and cheap.

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 7Liked by Jack Baruth

My brother was an audio engineer for decades and he taught me that your biggest bang for the buck is always speakers first .

Cheap ones suck .

No shortage of really good studio monitors and old folks high end speakers plus amps, turn tables etc. at auctions.....

-Nate

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

True. And the original poster already has "old folks high end speakers."

Edit: oops, I was still addressing Wulfgar's post ,not Mr. Moss's. Yep, used equipment is a good idea, as are the WiiM products recommended by Midwife Crisis above.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

You do have a point. If the OP added a digital source and EQ to what he's got via a spare computer he may not have to bother with anything else. In fact, if this is just fear of missing out, he enjoys his system, and does not want the convenience of streaming or a digital library, he could just leave it alone. He has good stuff.

I wish I could find measurements of the LST's output to use for EQ. It does use the same drivers as the AR 3a, which measures as follows:

https://murphyblaster.com/content.php?f=AR3a.html

I'd consider the anechoic response (not really anechoic but achieved through a gated measurement) as guidance for EQ above 200 Hz, and REW measurements as a basis for EQ below that. How close this is to the LST I could not say. The OP could do this with a computer and a cheap measurement mic. The point of all this is that speakers do sound better room-corrected. The extent to which it is worth the bother is an individual decision.

Expand full comment
Apr 4·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I'll recommend some of what I've used in the past and some of what I've got now. I used tube gear to start but have switched to solid state simply because I got tired of fussing with tubes.

1. The nicest Rega turntable you want to spend the money on. Made in Britain. You could go with the cartridge Rega recommends, or a Dynavector or a Hana. (Hana is good value.) The P3 is basically the Miata of turntables, but the P6 is a nice upgrade from there. P8 and P10 are stellar.

2. Splurge for an LFD Integrated amplifier. Hand made by one fanatical electrical engineer, point-to-point wiring, and beautiful sound. Made in Britain. Gene Rubin at Gene Rubin Audio stopped selling anything more expensive because he just didn't see the value in it. He says it'll out-perform six-figure rigs. I haven't heard any amps in that price range, but neither have I had any reason to consider anything but replacing my Mk3 model with the latest version.

3. Graham Slee Reflex M phono stage (model will depend upon whether you use a moving magnet or moving coil cartridge.) Again, made in Britain. Absolutely phenomenal value.

3. Spendor D7 tower speakers. Glorious, neutral sound. End-game speakers for me. If they're too pricey, I was quite impressed with the Golden Ear Triton 7 towers that I had before the Spendors. I've also heard excellent things about the KEF LS50.

5. Benchmark Audio DAC. Crazy good sound quality at just $1,800. From what I've heard, bettering it requires moving up to the PS Audio DirectStream DAC, which costs almost four times as much.

6. If you're into CDs, a Rega Apollo CD player does the job quite nicely - a solid transport with a built-in DAC (so you could skip the. Benchmark if you aren't gonna do streaming).

7. The streamer of your choice if you're into streaming. I use an Aurender N100H, which has been replaced with the N200 (or something). I like it, but there are many others you could investigate.

The majority of gear on that list is made in Britain; Benchmark is made in USA and Aurender in Korea.

I've heard excellent things about Schitt gear - excellent sound, excellent value - but they don't do speakers, so you'll want to ask them what they recommend. Rogue Audio is made in Pennsylvania if I recall correctly and also makes excellent amplifiers and integrated amps. I had a Sphinx, which I quite like and sent along to Jack at some point.

One suggestion: You will get FAR MORE bang for the buck buying used gear from a reputable outfit. Most of my gear is second-hand, and I've had good luck with Audiogon. The depreciation on stereo gear is insane, so there are many deals to be had.

One final word: If by any chance you happen upon a Croft Phono Integrated, snap it up. It is a beautiful British hybrid (tube pre-amp stage, solid state power stage) integrated amplifier with a very nice phono stage. They were hand-made point to point wiring by Glenn Croft until he died a year or two ago in a motorcycle accident. Per his wishes, the company shuttered following his death, so these things are getting scarce. Simple, no fills amp that sounds wonderful and punches way above its weight (they were $1800 new; they typically go for about $1000 when they come up for sale.) I loved mine, and it is the only piece of gear I've regretted selling. Glenn made separates as well, so if you find a Croft amp and pre-amp, that's worth considering as well.

Expand full comment
author

Thank you for this detailed response!

Expand full comment

As a mid-50's male, who was totally into home audio in my younger years, putting together component systems I could afford, "bench racing" with my friends who were doing the same and dreaming about my perfect system that I could afford, this topic really resonates with me.

I have set up a nice sonos system in my house (in ceiling speakers, etc.) but have often given thought to setting up a dedicated system again, but I wouldn't know where to start.

The 90% performance for 25% of the cost really interests me, plus I don't know if my old abused ears (too much live music in bars standing right next to speaker stacks, way too much shooting all kinds of guns with no hearing protection in my younger years) could actually appreciate a totally high end system anymore.

The level of knowledge and expertise on ACF never ceases to amaze me. What a great place.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I have been digging these audio subtopics lately. I'm the opposite and know absolutely zero about vintage equipment that likely would be cheaper and better quality than what is available now. FWIW I am about $6k deep into mine over the last several years, but that included a lot of "open box" deals with my good friend who was (RIP those deals) a magnolia adjacent salesperson at BB.

My setup is an ARCAM receiver (I'm about 70 percent music and 30% movies), B&W 700 something series towers and center, cheaper Klipsch reference premiere sounds (x4), and a REL sub. Last weekend my friends and I had a few pops, blasted the Tron soundtrack, and laid back on the couch in awe.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I'd consider skipping the turntable altogether, unless you need it to digitize your vinyl collection or really enjoy the hobbyist/tactile aspects of it.

The most important elements of a modern sound system are, in order, loudspeakers, equalization for room correction, room acoustics, (...big gap...), then amplification and source. What would be ideal depends on your requirements and budget. See the questions below, they could help us make recommendations for you. In the meanwhile, a few thoughts:

*AR-LSTs! Even today, your pair of LSTs could be used with a sub amp and EQ as quite decent subs. I'm curious how they would stand up to a modern speaker once EQed. On the other hand, I believe they have significant resale value.

*SX-1250! If it is in good shape, that's as good an amplifier as you'll need. I remember hearing one run a pair of Ohm Fs well. If it will do that, it will do anything you need. Again, on the other hand, I believe they have significant resale value. You could use a (quiet) computer running JRiver (cheap) or Roon (expensive) as your source and it will manage your library and handle EQ for you. Add REW and a microphone for in-room measurement and correction. Or see the receiver below which will do EQ and measurement for you.

Copying, with minor edits, from earlier posts in

https://www.avoidablecontact.com/p/monday-night-open-thread-dan-meets/comments

(Side note - Substack is truly horrible for finding old comments!)

If I may, I'll ask the usual questions for someone who is looking for speakers and cares about the result. I'm sure I'm not the only person here who can help out to some degree.

*What music do you listen to?

*How loud will you listen?

*At what distance?

*What is the size of the room?

*Are room treatments needed and acceptable? To what degree are you willing to trade off appearance and general usability for acoustics?

*What is the rest of the system, and are you willing to replace pieces if needed?

*Are subs acceptable, and if so, what size/how many?

*Are you willing to use EQ for room correction?

*Are you willing to use EQ for correction of speaker flaws that have been measured anechoically (or the mathematical equivalent)?

*And of course, budget?

A quick summary of the state of the art:

For ordinary box speakers, their measured behavior (frequency response, directivity, certain distortions, compression) has been fairly definitively linked to listener preference, so measurements can play a large part in eliminating flawed speakers from consideration.

Areas where the correlation of measurements to preference have not been performed, or at least published: directivity must be constant or with a smooth trend, but wide or narrow is personal preference and varies according to taste, source material, and room characteristics; the presentation from box speakers, dipoles, line sources and cardioids differ and there is no public research showing that one is better than the other, so it is down to personal taste. (I would prefer a large floor-to ceiling dipole line array if I could fit them somewhere.) For that matter, even for box speakers, size and baffle width may affect preference independent from frequency response, but I've seen no data on that.

One of my disappointments at the [Montreal] show was that the KEF R3s with a sub did not compete at the highest level, despite measurements showing that they should. That list of unknowns plays in here, I'm sure. Also, memory for acoustic events is poor. Studies have shown that without a direct A-B comparison, A-B-C even better, people just cannot compare speakers. Further, people are great at fooling themselves and I'm sure that includes me. I believe in my heart of hearts that while I cannot remember the sound of speakers I can remember my reaction to them and that can be a basis for comparison. I also believe that if I were put to a blind test on that I would fail, at least for similarly capable box speakers.

References in case you have deeper interest in measurement and preference:

https://www.routledge.com/Sound-Reproduction-The-Acoustics-and-Psychoacoustics-of-Loudspeakers-and-Rooms/Toole/p/book/9781138921368

http://www.gedlee.com/Papers/papers.aspx

The Perception of Distortion

Bookshelves: Revels are the standard go-to. Probably better buys: Ascend Sierra-1 V2, Philharmonic BMR Monitor, Philharmonic Mini Monitor (models to fit size constraints, if any - smaller ones are a budget pick), Wharfdale Linton 85th, Polk ES20 (budget pick). Set up your system with EQ (old laptop with Equalizer APO and REW, for example) and you will not be sorry.

*Below is an answer to someone shopping for a new system. Might not apply well to you depending on your answers to the questions above.

Hard to beat this receiver for the price:

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denavrx6700h/denon-avr-x6700h-11.2-ch-x-140-watts-8k-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html

I'd be sure to add a fan like this and vacuum it every now and then for better odds of long life:

https://www.parts-express.com/AC-Infinity-AIRCOM-S7-12-Dual-Fan-Top-Exhaust-with-Thermal-Trigger-305-412?quantity=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=20344069331&utm_content=161105436364&gadid=692363767583&gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjw5ImwBhBtEiwAFHDZx-Q8_wdW5T54SPAJHasNIeKuOKMkFU7LLkpXOPAVce1J5j_gQ-1r8BoC7DUQAvD_BwE

Nice things about that receiver:

*Room correction EQ . If you go below the 3800 in the product line the EQ becomes inadequate.

*Lots of power. As is usual for multichannel receivers, in stereo, the entire multichannel power supply is available to the two channels in use.

*The electronics are probably good enough to be fully transparent, or at least good enough that any minimal negative is more than outweighed by the decent EQ and measurement system built-in.

*Multichannel is an option if you decide you are interested in the future. Many people think very highly of the included Auro upmixer to make good use of multichannel from stereo sources.

*Supports multiple independently adjustable subs (to some degree, don't recall details). This may be important in the fairly large volume you described.

*You can sell it without taking a large loss.

*Speakers. The most important part.

You could wait for the JBL Studio 580s to go back on sale for $350 each, that happens frequently, just not right now. According to the designer,those are the sweet spot in the line. They should do a fine job on the music you like. Offloading the bass to a couple of inexpensive subs should help in that room; these should be good enough:

https://www.audioholics.com/subwoofer-reviews/dayton-sub-1500

The combination should be better than the Studio 590s alone, for less money. The Denon will help with sub integration and EQ.

Other options:

Wharfdale Lintons on their stands. More expensive but at least they look it. A bit more accurate than the JBLs but perhaps a bit less fun. The accuracy difference may be correctable with the Denon EQ, but going above room correction frequencies may be tricky. You need another hobby, right? Adding the above subs still a good idea in your room.

Philhamonic BMR - also worth considering. Wide dispersion if that is your preference.

Arendal 1961 Tower. More expensive. Narrower dispersion, if you prefer that.

And see the bookshelf speaker list above, they can all go on stands and work with the subs.

The above are all normal box speakers. If you prefer a dipole planar:

https://www.eminent-tech.com/

See the LFT-8b $3200 per pair shipped. I can't recommend a planar for less.

That's a start!

Expand full comment

"I'd consider skipping the turntable altogether..."

KILL THE WITCH! KILL THE WITCH!

I'm (mostly) teasing, and putting aside the whole "vinyl sounds better" argument (sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't), you're right. I love vinyl, but it's got its drawbacks - expensive, takes up a ton of space, can be finicky. Digital audio and high-quality streaming from Qoboz or Tidal is all most people need.

Expand full comment

Much lower down the totem pole, but I went from a late 70's Kenwood KR-3010 to a new Yamaha A-S301. You will trade bassy richness with rolled off highs that suits classic "real analog instrument" music for a cold crisp grainy analytical sound that accurately portrays everything, but the highs are harsh and the bass impact is lacking, better for new digital music that sounded boomy on the old receiver. The built in phono preamp does not suck, it might be slightly better than the Kenwood, which isn't in line with the consensus. I got more inputs, a remote, the knob turns by itself, cooool, but I wouldn't recommend going this route for solely night and day sound quality. My speakers are Paradigm Mini Monitor V4 bookshelves from the pawn shop, I paid $139, the consensus there is no doing better for the price new, let alone used. If you're looking for something to mess with for incremental improvements, get a better/different cartridge for the turntable. I have a discontinued Shure, there is Grado, there is Ortofon. Googled the Sharp turntable, Jesus Christ, I thought I was hot shit with my wooden Pioneer PL-50, you got a turntable made out of stone. Where do you go from there? Do you have a tape deck?

Expand full comment

Honestly, just get some refurbished Kef LS 50’s from here for $1,600 if you plan to keep your ‘70’s stuff.

https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/kefls50wr2-blk/kef-ls50-pair-wireless-ii-powered-wireless-mini-monitor-speakers-black/1.html

They’ll be a good modern counterbalance to what you have. No separate components, take up almost no space, look fantastic, high quality Bluetooth, plenty of digital inputs, a subwoofer output, a solid DAC that can handle any type of high resolution digital input, and most importantly, they just sound phenomenal with all different types of music.

If for some reason you find them lacking, they’re always in style and easy to unload for near what you’ll pay for them refurbished.

They’re so easy to use with so many different types of inputs that you’ll forget about that last couple percent the audiophile fart sniffers are always going after because you’ll be spending too much time enjoying whatever music you love.

I bought some maybe 5 years ago and never looked back. I’d rather spend my money on tires than swapping out audio gear.

Expand full comment

They didn't read 'em, and Slick Willie never inhaled.

I can understand the young's fascination with communism, because they don't understand what communism is. They think communism will give them the house and the free lunch Gordon Gekko kept from them so he could buy another McMansion or a third Lamborghini.

They don't get it was the Boomers and the Uniparty with their insatiable desire for cheap labor at home & abroad, their greed for the votes that will ensconce them in permanent political power, their hatred for regular Americans, their making college degrees simultaneously mandatory & cripplingly expensive, their desire to pad their stock portfolios by a couple thousand percent, their gettin' theirs & pulling the ladder up after them and their vision of the world as a grand game board, with them as the masters moving all those worthless, interchangeable Nobodies around at whim that fucked ALL OF US.

Expand full comment

yeah fuck em

Expand full comment
Apr 3·edited Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Boomer, boomer, boomer! Bollocks! They didn't engineer this shit, it just happened and 99% found themselves on the ride whether they wanted to be or not, or even knew what was going on. They didn't gang up to make Nixon cut the link to gold, the origin of the fake prosperity that is now blowing up. They didn't demand he open up to China and they didn't insist on doing so in such an unequal manner. Nobody, but NOBODY, had the slightest idea that property would inflate to such an unimaginable extent because it was literally unimaginable. We all had it easy in the West post WW2 without understanding the reasons why it existed and still less why it couldn't last. Blaming people for existing is utterly pointless. Blaming people for being what they are (flawed beings with limited comprehension beyond day-to-day exigencies) is completely pointless. Looking backwards is pointless, unless it is to swiftly and effectively learn from mistakes. Playing the victim is worse than pointless, it is actively self-destructive. Life in the west and the US in particular is historically unprecedentedly prosperous, healthy and full of potential. It is necessary to keep a sense of proportion. I recommend starting each day thinking about George Washington's teeth before feeling too sorry for yourself.

Expand full comment
author

I agree -- but a little bit of time and situation consciousness can go a long way towards properly motivating people to succeed.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

We live in extraordinary times. 1. Historically unprecedented wealth. 2. Historically unprecedented health and longevity. 3. Historically unprecedented abundance of food. 4. Historically unprecedented dissemination of information, allied to... 5. Historically unprecedented ability to travel, enabling mass migrations. 6. Historically unprecedented voluntary population decline via falling reproduction rates - this is only just starting to take effect, but the impact will be huge. 7. Historically unprecedented potential for military self-destruction. I may have missed something, but with all the above going on there is bound to be some friction within our historically fractious, fratricidal, human tribes. The best of times, the worst of times... if we did but know it.

Expand full comment

I think the main problem is the If It Bleeds It Leads philosophy of journalism, and that we're all wallowing in a world awash in news. It's as if a giant septic tank in a good neighborhood exploded.

Expand full comment

Yes, absolutely. I find, for example, the BBC TV news to be absolutely unwatchable these days.

Expand full comment
Apr 3·edited Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

heres the thing

if you werent involved in offshoring jobs, clawing after as much political power as possible forever, making things generally worse for proceeding generations, and telling everyone else "fuck you got mine" and pulling the ladder up behind you then i have nothing against you

its not your generation but a chunk of people from your generation and if you didnt do it then its not about you

Expand full comment
Apr 3·edited Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I think Boomers coined the phrase "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." So anyone who was voting age in 1992 and didn't support Buchanan or Perot was part of the problem. Anyone who said "The H-1B mostly affects entry-level jobs and I'm experienced, so all hail globalism," or "those illegals will pay my Social Security, so I don't mind" are part of the problem.

Expand full comment

fuck those guys too

Expand full comment

It wasn't just the boomers. It started wth the 'greatest generation' a lot of those people were the biggest swindlers ever. They're the reason nearly all of the retirement plans went away. Because they raided them for instant cash.

Expand full comment

not keen on them either

Expand full comment

Then sent the jobs overseas AND THEN refused to retire in a timely fashion, preventing the next generation from being able to access both the next generation of good jobs and the remaining positions here.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

It's OK, I don't take it personally and I know I let off a bit of a stink bomb before going to bed. I didn't do "it" but I am still caught up in the mess, as are my children and just starting to arrive grandchildren. So I too have skin in the game.

Expand full comment
author

If you genuinely care about your children... which I know you do... these Boomer allegations are Teflon where you're concerned.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Sherman McCoy, Jack Baruth

It's their attitude now that is so infuriating. "We didn't have it easy!" Yes, you did. I don't hate them for it but some acknowledgment would be nice. "Those stupid fucking kids and their student loans!" That boomers told us to take out when we were literally children listening to our parents. "Pay your debts" as they got MILLIONS in ppp money forgiven. Younger generations have legitimate reasons to gripe. And then if you point any of this out "You must be a loser!" And all of this could be forgiven if I never had to hear another Beatles song. And if you think any of this is hyperbole, spend 5 minutes on Gab.

*I have no loans, have more money than I will ever spend, and my boomer parents are great

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

yeah that

the cool part about this place is that someone else can articulate my thoughts much better than i can

Expand full comment

"Pay your debts" is an honorable philosophy, providing there's an economy that enables the acquisition of jobs which compensate the debtor well enough to pay his debts, and that said debts were encouraged by the older & wiser IN GOOD FAITH.

Expand full comment

I can count on one hand how many bills ive paid late in my life. Usually cause of an autopay linked to something old. But bankruptcy exists for a reason. Indentured student loan servitude is wrong. I did “bounce” a check last week because i didnt realize my contractor didnt cash the check i write from the checking account i keep just enough in to pay my bills and sweep the rest into an account that pays interest.

*the bank covered it and i had the money transferred back within an hour to cover my side. Ill probably stop trying to run a lean checking account

Expand full comment

I love the feeling I get when I make my car payment or other bill early. But I can afford them.

Expand full comment

I stopped keeping my checking account lean once I realized in the early 2000s that a single overdraft fee would wipe out a year's worth of 0.25% interest I was getting out of savings. Now I'm conditioned to feel uncomfortable if checking dips below $10k. A far cry from my younger years when I was using a tack to poke holes in the OCR number on my checks to get an extra two days of float.

Expand full comment

I can agree with you on this. Note that I said "the west had it easy after WW2". But it can't be news to you that people get defensive when you attack them. My interest is in where do we go from here and I think a starting point is to recognise where we sit in the history of humanity and the answer to that is in a pretty good place, actually. Not perfect, sure, but we still have democracy and the rule of law and we need to use those tools to make it better. If we can...

Expand full comment

I've been thinking about George ever since the dentist told me that I need a partial plate to continue to be able to eat.

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

I've gone on an anti-scapegoating of Boomers rant here also. I will remind the youngsters (I turn 65 in 4 days) here that the oldest Boomer was 24 years old when Nixon was elected the first time, hardly a group that could have influenced national policy.

Expand full comment

Valid point. And one could argue that he was forced into it by actions taken by others before...

Expand full comment

Yet they like to take credit for the civil rights movement.

Expand full comment

Yeah, and all Frenchmen fought for the resistance.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

Boomers designed and assembled my Ram. It works well and somehow doesn't leak oil. I appreciate that.

Expand full comment
Apr 3Liked by Jack Baruth

This gentleman gets it..

Expand full comment

Ok boom...

Expand full comment

er

Expand full comment
Apr 4Liked by Jack Baruth

you give the uniparty credit for having a large coherent philosophy. they don't. part of the problems, beside stupid choices, are the grinding of all sorts of unmeshable gears of various group aims.

Expand full comment