What gear do you like to flavor your music with?

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
I know stereo equipment can and often does sound different, but Id never made the connection to cooking/seasoning until John “flavor flav” VF brought it up in the Topping DACs thread. Everyone has their own idea of what “neutral” sounds like based on their listening experiences with different gear and I dont think, generally speaking, that peoples’ opinion of what neutral sounds like is all that much different. I can see where others might disagree though. But that is not all that relevant to this discussion, because seasonings should season the sound in the same direction (warm, fast, whatever) for different people. As far as speakers and whether this discussion involves seasoning speaker sound or seasoning system sound, using speakers as the ultimate seasoning, both discussions are welcomed. And if you like things plain, please speak up as well. Thanks!
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
“I dont think, generally speaking, that peoples’ opinion of what neutral sounds like is all that much different.”

Add “especially if they have listened to a lot of gear” to that.
 

adaug

Senior Member
is this question really any different than on what gear does music sound best to you? or does flavor mean to use certain eqpmt to deliberately color the sound away from neutral in some way?
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
I mean “to use certain eqpmt to deliberately color the sound away from neutral in some way”. The words “color” and “in some way” should also probably be discussed, so as to better understand the link between art and science/why people choose to season.
 
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JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Is no flavor a flavor? I guess the closest I come to purposefully flavoring the sound is cartridge choice. Not that any gear totally lacks a sound signature but I try to buy things that don't sound like anything at all. Some people confuse that with sterile but I'm not after overt detail or a clinical sound, just things that don't sound like they're there, things that don't sound like a stereo. Hard to explain. And I tell you once you have that, everything else sounds terrible. And you hear it, because most things sounds like electronics.
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
Your explanation makes perfect sense. Which is why I originally had you down as John “lil flavor flav” VF, but that was an evolution of John “subtle flavor flav” VF which just didn’t sound all that great, though I think it more accurately conveys the meaning. The motto of this place is so true. :jump.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
How about no-flavor flav? I can't explain how my setup sounds or doesn't, it takes hearing it. The TVC is a big part of it not sounding like anything.
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
John “no-flavor flav” VF it is. And that is perfect. You have a way with words my friend.

“And I tell you once you have that, everything else sounds terrible”

Im not there yet. Not even close, I still hear a small % of electronics.
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
So would you consider this sound quality to be “in the top 1%” or better than that? Generally speaking, of course.
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
I dont mean in cost, I mean just “in general”. Like when he first sees it, is his gut feeling yes or no, or somewhere around that is fine too. I know he has heard and owned a lot of gear and a lot of fine gear at that and Im just looking for a gut feeling reaction. In other words, at what generalized percentile of “stereo sound quality” does one need to be at/get to, to get to what John “no-flavor flav” VF considers “there”.
 

JohnVF

Administrator
Staff member
Well that's all relative and any two people are probably going to like something different. They say there's an absolute sound but there's not. We're trying to recreate a recording which in itself is a fake thing to begin with. So there's no right or wrong really. I'm particularly annoyed by a certain electronic signature left by a lot of gear, and I love a big bloomin' soundstage. I ended up with a clean/clear system with a huge soundstage. Yesterday I spent my evening helping a friend diagnose why his mid 80s Yamaha separates and big Cerwin Vegas weren't "bumpin" like this other guy we know. He wanted bumpin, not transparency, and I helped him figure it out instead of telling him he needed what I'm after.

The best thing you can do in this hobby is listen to as much different stuff as you can, if possible own a variety of it, so you know what's out there to pick from. Its hard to know for sure that chocolate is your favorite ice cream if you've never had coffee, pistachio, vanilla, butter pecan...
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
Is no flavor a flavor? I guess the closest I come to purposefully flavoring the sound is cartridge choice. Not that any gear totally lacks a sound signature but I try to buy things that don't sound like anything at all. Some people confuse that with sterile but I'm not after overt detail or a clinical sound, just things that don't sound like they're there, things that don't sound like a stereo. Hard to explain. And I tell you once you have that, everything else sounds terrible. And you hear it, because most things sounds like electronics.
I believe no flavor is vanilla; delicious ice cream!
Edit; you can tell what was on my mind when I wrote this....
 
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TubeHiFiNut

Administrator
In other words, at what generalized percentile of “stereo sound quality” does one need to be at/get to, to get to what John “no-flavor flav” VF considers “there”.
Well that's all relative and any two people are probably going to like something different. They say there's an absolute sound but there's not.
@JohnVF is absolutely, in my opinion, correct.

Also in my opinion, there is no substitute for getting out there and listening to a wide variety of gear - friend's systems, audio shows, dealer showrooms.

Learn everything you can about system synergy from The Haven Braintrust.

My method is to buy the gear that interests me and then assemble a system that speaks to me. Try lots of different combinations along the way.

As an aside, I have heard several systems costing more than $250,000 that I honestly did not care for. Sounded sterile. Stripped the music of that emotional connection I seek.

In my ~47 years of playing in this hobby, I have found that there is no substitute for experience. ;)

Just my opinion. :)
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
I agree, it is a great answer to a silly question in an attempt to get “the John VF data point”. Though it seems that “removing the electronic signature” to get a more natural/organic/no-flavor flave sound should appeal to most/all people. And Im thinking doing so becomes more important (and more than likely costly) the higher up the totem pole one gets in this hobby, to get things “there”. Almost like this is that final step to get “there”/musical bliss. And above “there” is like splitting already split, split hairs, beyond the law of diminishing returns so to speak. Great points Tube, THB, I love it!
 
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