When have you heard "The Magic"?

treitz3treitz3 Posts: 13,902
edited January 13 in 2 Channel Audio
Hello all and good afternoon to you. With this forum, we have all heard (or have) spectacular systems that every once in a while and for whatever reason, just seem to get it right.

I don't mean simple playback operations or a nice sounding system. I mean those rare times when the synergy, the room, the gear, the speakers, the placement, the time of day, excellence of the recording....whatever it is that collectively transforms a rig/situation in to what George Daniels and I refer to as "The Magic" and one is completely out of the room - simply experiencing a complete euphoria of sounds emanating from all around you and you become "lost" in the moment of sheer audio bliss.

I have heard this about maybe 6 times in my entire life.....and I have heard a lot of really great systems. I'll share one of those experiences with you here.

Not many newer members knew about or remember a cat we had here on the forum that is no longer with us. He left this Earth a little earlier than anticipated. Well, anyways we were in his LR down in Hotlanta with a couple of audio buddies. He had these speakers that were, shall I say....not your normal speakers. In fact, they were called "FrankenPolks". Ben took a couple of sets of speakers and made these enormous SDA's that were completely custom built.

We listened throughout the day off and on whilst grilling and having the normal Polk GTG follies and fun. Well, late that night, there were a couple of folks sitting on the couch just listening to albums/songs and for whatever reason? Something snapped into place.

I don't know what it was or how it happened but all of a sudden, the music just stopped playing through the speakers and "The Magic" happened. No, it wasn't just me. All of us there in attendance that night all said the same thing. I will tell you this, that rig did not have the right to sound as good as it did that night and words simply can't describe what I and the others heard but it was definitely an experience worthy of beholding the honor of being able to make "The Magic".

Have you ever experienced this yet in your audio travels and if you have, describe the situation where you experienced it.

Tom
In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
«1

Comments

  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,569
    When I purchased the 1950's Heath W5M monoblock amps from Troy D that were completely rebuilt by Gary Dodd and Charlie Cocci, I swapped out the tubes for some holy grail 1950's RCA black plate 6L6GC's and 1950's CBS 5814WA black plate square getters. That was a "holy shite" improvement moment. But when I paired the amps with a Dodd tube preamp with 1950's Amperex Holland 7308 D-getter and a Dodd phono preamp with 1950's Amperex Holland 6DJ8 D-getters - once those tubes warmed up for 45 minutes and I put some vinyl on I would sometimes sit in my chair and think "This really really sounds good." I was using Dahlquist DQ-30i floorstanders that I had pretty much completely rebuilt and they would utterly disappear. Some recordings are so well done and when that "the magic" happens you just close your eyes and drift away. Then the hootch burnt a hole in the chair and I woke up. (Just kidding)
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,519
    I'll share the first time -- the first of (only) a few flashbulb memories I have of my hifi experiences.

    I was at Soundscape, ca. 1977, in the back room (where the good stuff was). John Dorsey (or maybe it was Len... but I think it was John) demonstrated the Quad ESL-57s to me. Quad electronics. Probably (???) a Linn LP12 -- no idea what cartridge... but I will never forget the album and - more to the point - the song: Wish You Were Here. I have never forgotten, and will never forget, as long as I am of sound mind, the emotion of hearing that acoustic guitar intro on the Quads.

    That led to a long but low-key "pursuit" of a pair of ESL-57s. I finally did acquire a nice pair about 3 decades later.

    They are loudspeakers that any "audiophile" owes it to him/her/them selve(s) to spend some quality time listening to. They're still perhaps the most neutral, natural and uncolored loudspeakers I have heard -- the reference for midrange reproduction, I'd opine.


  • Joey_VJoey_V Posts: 7,135
    Happens a few times.

    I close my eyes and either my eyes well up or an electric sensation comes over you.

    Probably close to once a month.

    Just depends on what I’m playing.
    Joey's Gear:
    Current Gear:
    Torus RM15 -> Emm Labs TSDx/Bluesound Node 2 -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> ??? -> Boulder 2060 stereo amp (w/ Audioquest WEL Signature) -> new speakers + JL Audio F113v2 x2
    Rotel RA1592 Super Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    Oppo 105D -> Rotel RC1570 preamp -> Rotel RB1582 amp -> Focal Kanta 2


    Main speakers system evolution over the years:
    Klipsch Promedia 4.1 -> Axiom M22ti -> Sonus Faber Concertino -> Sonus Faber Concerto -> Polk LSi7 -> Polk LSi9 -> Martin Logan Mosaic -> AV123 Onix Ref 1 -> Martin Logan Vantage -> AV123 Strata Mini -> Martin Logan Summit -> Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor -> BW 802D2 -> Sonus Faber Stradivari -> Rockport Avior -> BW 802D3 -> BW 800D3 -> ???

    Old Gear:
    Speakers:
    BW PM1 (3.5/5), CM10s2 (3.75/5), BW800D3 (5/5), Rockport Aviors (5/5), Sonus Faber Stradivari (5/5), BW 802D2 (4.5/5), Martin Logan Summits (4.25/5), Martin Logan Vantage (4/5), Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor (3.75/5), AV123 Strata Mini (3.5/5), ML Mosaic (3.25/5), Onix Ref1 (3/5), Sonus Faber Concerto (2.75/5), SF Concertino (2.5/5), Axiom M22ti (2/5), Polk LSi9 (3/5), LSi7 (2.9/5)
    Source:
    Squeezebox 3 -> PS Audio Digital Link III -> Cary 306/200 CDP -> Cary 306 SACD -> EMM LABS DAC2X/TSDX
    Preamplification:
    Rotel RC1070 -> Rogue Perseus -> Cary SLP98 -> Cary SLP98F1 -> Cary SLP05 (sold and then repurchased) -> ARC 5se -> ???
    Amplification:
    HK AVR330 -> Rotel RB1070 -> Rotel RB1090 -> Plinius SA102 -> Cary 211FE -> Classe M600 -> Boulder 2060
    Subwoofer:
    Infinity Entra2 -> SVS 25-31PCi -> SVS 25-31PC+ -> Dual JL Audio F113v2
  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 5,233
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I'll share the first time -- the first of (only) a few flashbulb memories I have of my hifi experiences.

    I was at Soundscape, ca. 1977, in the back room (where the good stuff was). John Dorsey (or maybe it was Len... but I think it was John) demonstrated the Quad ESL-57s to me. Quad electronics. Probably (???) a Linn LP12 -- no idea what cartridge... but I will never forget the album and - more to the point - the song: Wish You Were Here. I have never forgotten, and will never forget, as long as I am of sound mind, the emotion of hearing that acoustic guitar intro on the Quads.

    That led to a long but low-key "pursuit" of a pair of ESL-57s. I finally did acquire a nice pair about 3 decades later.

    They are loudspeakers that any "audiophile" owes it to him/her/them selve(s) to spend some quality time listening to. They're still perhaps the most neutral, natural and uncolored loudspeakers I have heard -- the reference for midrange reproduction, I'd opine.


    If I am feeling meh or just plain out of sorts, that album is my go-to. I always get goosebumps on several passages from that album.

    There are a few other albums that do the same for me. But it always has to be a perfect storm of emotions/time/light/volume/etc to make *it* happen.
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,569
    "The Wind Cries Mary" used to be one song that did it to me.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,519
    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I'll share the first time -- the first of (only) a few flashbulb memories I have of my hifi experiences.

    I was at Soundscape, ca. 1977, in the back room (where the good stuff was). John Dorsey (or maybe it was Len... but I think it was John) demonstrated the Quad ESL-57s to me. Quad electronics. Probably (???) a Linn LP12 -- no idea what cartridge... but I will never forget the album and - more to the point - the song: Wish You Were Here. I have never forgotten, and will never forget, as long as I am of sound mind, the emotion of hearing that acoustic guitar intro on the Quads.

    That led to a long but low-key "pursuit" of a pair of ESL-57s. I finally did acquire a nice pair about 3 decades later.

    They are loudspeakers that any "audiophile" owes it to him/her/them selve(s) to spend some quality time listening to. They're still perhaps the most neutral, natural and uncolored loudspeakers I have heard -- the reference for midrange reproduction, I'd opine.


    If I am feeling meh or just plain out of sorts, that album is my go-to. I always get goosebumps on several passages from that album.

    There are a few other albums that do the same for me. But it always has to be a perfect storm of emotions/time/light/volume/etc to make *it* happen.

    It's a good rekkid. Probably my all-around favorite Pink Floyd album (FWIW).
  • Wow! Great reviews. Axpona reminds me of when I first started going to the New York Audio Show several years ago, which sadly has been in deterioration mode the past few years with this one the least spectacular of all.
    George / NJ

    Polk 7B main speakers (1979, orig owner)
    Martin Logan Dynamo sub
    Crown D150 amp
    iFi nano iDSD DAC
    iPurifier3
    iDefender w/ iPower PS
    iFi Mercury 0.5m OFHC continuous cast copper USB cable
    Custom Ribbon Speaker Cables, 5ft long, 4N Copper, 14 gauge, ultra low inductance
    Custom Vibration Isolation Speaker Stands and Sub Platform
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,956
    edited January 13
    Just imagine what they could do with BACCH-SP...
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • deronb1deronb1 Posts: 5,008
    Just imagine what they could do with BACCH-SP...

    Hahahaha!!
  • displaynamedisplayname Posts: 569
    edited January 13
    Rather than sharing an audiophile system with "the magic" I'm going to share a very intense audio memory that will likely stick with me for my entire life.
    The first time I toured the Harman facilities in Northridge I got to go into the break-in/torture test room used for the high end tour products.

    The room is hidden deep in the facility, and has multiple signs and doors leading into the room warning you to keep ear protection on at all times. You go through a series of 3 steel doors to get to the room, and you need heavy duty hearing protection on past the 2nd and 3rd doors, but you can hear the faint rumble once you get passed the first door. They aren't joking.

    The room is concreate floor, cinder block walls and ceiling, a square-ish shape, and slightly smaller than a 2 car garage. This was right before the VTX-A12 were just being announced, and in the room they had two stacks of the A12s (about 5 ft high each) and 4 corresponding subs actively doing the torture test. 100 hours nonstop, at full tilt, just pink noise I believe. This is by far the highest SPL I have every been exposed to, and possibly will ever be exposed to (God willing). They test at 146 max db when testing a single speaker in the chambers. I couldn't tell you what the room would possibly measure at. You can feel it over every square inch of your body. We were in the room for less than 2 minutes, but I could feel it in my stomach for probably 15-20 minutes after. It was like a rollercoaster of sound.

    It was an crazy experience in sound. I'd recommend doing it if you have the chance. It's pretty unforgettable.
    Analog: MoFi MasterTracker > MoFi UltraDeck > Sutherland 20/20
    Digital: Cambridge CXC / Streaming > Cambridge CXN v2
    MastersounD Dueventi > Usher T-515 or Arcam rHead > Hifiman HE4XX
    Discogs
  • joecoulsonjoecoulson Posts: 4,107
    edited January 13
    Clipdat wrote: »
    Scaena Loudspeakers room at Axpona 2019. This is my standard that I judge all other systems against.

    ip5sk4m4b45z.jpg
    I featured it as my #1 dream room in my post-Axpona article here: https://theaudiobeatnik.com/axpona-2019-bringing-hi-fi-dreams-to-reality/

    "This system sounded absolutely astonishing. There were no noticeable drawbacks or deficiencies whatsoever—it was masterful. The depth, width and height of the soundstage along with the precise placement of specific elements within the music was easily the best I heard at the show. When each individual component of a song has such vivid and stunning clarity, combined with ample room and space for the sound to rise and fall, it creates an experience that is somehow beyond just simply “listening”.

    When I closed my eyes I became completely absorbed in the music; it felt like I was transported to another dimension. I finished the show on Sunday in this room and listened for an hour and a half. It was truly a transformative experience. I was on Cloud 9 the entire time and walked out of the room on a musical high."

    Was there at the same time with the same songs.(Saturday) I agree with Drew completely.

    There was one more that did the same for me at that show.

    p98l4vyq33kh.jpeg
    Auralic Vega G1/Rega TT/Denon SACD - Parasound P6 - PS Audio M700x2 - Elac Adante AF-61 - AQ Niagara 5000 - SVS SB16u
  • verbverb Posts: 9,032
    edited January 13
    I too was overwhelmed by the immersion of sound by those Scaena's ! :smile: Thanks for dragging me over there Drew!

    Interesting and very cool thread Tom! I gotta ponder this a bit. My audio journey has been, a rather recent one, but so many profound changes and improvements! My head is still spinning! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS,Cary SLP-05 Pre,Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport,Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC,Cambridge 851N streamer,Marantz SA-14 SACD,McIntosh MC300 Amp,Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable,Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner,Pangea Power Cables,Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's,MIT Shotgun S3 IC's,MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC,EAR Acute CD Player,EAR 834L Pre,Northstar Designs Intenso DAC,PASS ACA Monoblocks,Denon UDR-F10 Cassette,Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers,SVS SB12 Plus sub,MIT AVt2 speaker cables,IFI Purifier2,AQ Cinnamon USB cable,Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks,Tisbury Mini Passive Pre,Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38),Analysis Plus Oval 9's,Zu Jumpers,AudioEngine B1 Streamer,Klipsch RB-61 v2,SVS PB1000 sub,Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated,Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer,Rotel RCD-1072 CD player,Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner,Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers,Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 13,902
    I have one more experience that Lightman1(AKA GoatF'r...er, uh, I mean Russ) can attest too when I first met him...

    Let's see if the ol' bastage remembers...

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,956
    With Russ involved, it must have been uhm… electrifying!

    Who wore the assless chaps?
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 24,519
    so many bald white guy heads in these photos.

    :|
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 13,902
    joecoulson wrote: »
    It wasn’t this one I’m sure:
    z7dk1jvnusv6.jpeg

    This is the result of Joe playing tracks from the Transformers movie. Trey had a hard one goin' on but, Geez, really, Joe?

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
  • civiliancivilian Posts: 328
    Back in 2010 I had my first "magic" when I got to hear @mole' properly set up pair of SDA's, followed by @Norm Apter pair of modded LSi9's, followed by @dpowell SDA SRT's.
    First the SDA experience, followed by a amazing sounding modded "Bookie" followed by the SRT's was all very magical.
    ________________
    2 Channel-Denon AVR-4520/SDA 2.3TL's
    5.1-Denon AVR-4500h/RT3000P's/CS1000P/RT2000P's/
  • deronb1deronb1 Posts: 5,008
    3pggveyv8umx.jpg
    A friend of mine during a golf trip...lol
  • deronb1deronb1 Posts: 5,008
    lightman1 wrote: »
    I heard the magic when Tom's wife screamed out my name.....


    ;)

    Hahahahaha!!!
  • halohalo Posts: 5,428
    For me, it was the Dynaudio C1 Platinum "bookshelf" speakers at AXPONA 2016. An independent dealer in the Chicagoland area named Joseph Audio had them paired with Mark Levinson mono bocks and a Mark Levinson preamp or integrated that was acting as a preamp IIRC. Those speakers absolutely disappeared and the music was all around me. The bass was punching me in the chest. That made me look for some used Dynaudio bookies in my price range (well below the cost of the C1's) and I really enjoyed my time with them - they just didn't integrate as well as I would've liked with my sub and everything had to go before the move from Chicago to St. Louis so they ended up making their way to the Middle East.
    5l44gncmk8t7.jpg
    2xipchhinwp7.jpg
  • nooshinjohnnooshinjohn Posts: 21,956
    lightman1 wrote: »
    I heard the magic when Tom's wife screamed out my name.....


    ;)

    Caught you with the family goat, didn’t she?
    The Gear... Carver "Statement" Mono-blocks, TriangleArt Reference SE with Pass Labs Xono Phono Preamp, Walker Precision Motor Drive, ClearAudio Goldfinger Diamond v2 cartridge and Origin Conquerer Mk3c tonearm, Polk Audio "Signature" Reference Series 1.2TL with complete mods, Pass Labs X0.2 three chassis preamp, PS Audio PerfectWave DAC MkII, Krell Evolution 505 SACD Player, Pioneer Elite SC-LX701, Oppo UDP-205 4K Blu-ray player, Sony XBR70x850B 4k, Polk audio AB800 "in-wall" surrounds.

    Saying that it's "too hard" to pursue your dreams is no different than admitting to yourself that you are too lazy to achieve them.

    “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”
  • WillowWillow Posts: 9,877
    With Russ involved, it must have been uhm… electrifying!

    Who wore the assless chaps?

    What??? Doro gave them up for a day or two?
    2Ch- B&W 703, SVS PB10 NSD, Marantz NR1607, Parasound 1500a, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (Yellow) with Acrylic platter, Pro-Ject phono pre, MIT AVT 2 speaker cables, MIT AVT 1 and AVT 2 ICs, XLO Jumpers, Signal Dig Coax, Signal Cable Magic Power Cables x3, Samsung 55JS7000, Harmony 1100, Sony BDP-S6200, Marantz DV-4200 (as Transport), Cambridge Audio DAC Magic100, Monster 3600MKII, Android Mi Box3 and Apple TV. - Pool /Gazebo Yamaha RX-A1010, Polk Patio 25x4, Rotel RDV 1045 (as CDP) MIT AVT3 ICs - Work - Spotify Premium or Neutron App to my FiiO Kunlun into my Grado SR125e

  • CoolJazzCoolJazz Posts: 535
    I've experienced that moment that stays with you a number of times.

    One that sticks with me to this day....happened during a trip to the Stereophile show in San Francisco in 2003. I walked into a room, just as the regular host got up to go grab some lunch. Setting in was by chance the designer of the featured amps Wavestream V8's,...Scott Frankland. He threw on something to the turntable of his choosing...and magic happened. I remember the otherwise quiet room and just setting there for an extended period with the music just directly connecting and washing over me!

    Here is a picture I took at that moment...
    qtxsKOe.jpg

    Don't recall the speakers or the music now, but it sure left an impression!

    CJ
    A so called science type proudly says... "I do realize that I would fool myself all the time, about listening conclusions and many other observations, if I did listen before buying. That’s why I don’t, I bought all of my current gear based on technical parameters alone, such as specs and measurements."
  • Polkitup2Polkitup2 Posts: 1,556
    The "magic" happened to me once after a party after my house years ago. I was in the garage listening to a crappy all in one AIWA shelf system late at night after everyone left. The music flowed like liquid all around me and sounded oh so good. My wife had to tell me to come back in and go to bed at 3 am. I think it was a result of the party fun, the late hour, and an incredible amount of booze! Which I suspect may have played into the OPs magic moment since he was with Ben.

  • Tony MTony M Posts: 8,650
    Music sounds better late at night. :p
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies. I EXPERIENCE them.
  • jdjohnjdjohn Posts: 1,226
    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    mhardy6647 wrote: »
    I will never forget the album and - more to the point - the song: Wish You Were Here. I have never forgotten, and will never forget, as long as I am of sound mind, the emotion of hearing that acoustic guitar intro on the Quads.

    If I am feeling meh or just plain out of sorts, that album is my go-to. I always get goosebumps on several passages from that album.
    That's a go-to for me as well, especially for evaluating the retrieval of detail. In particular, the background/ambient noise during the strumming, just before the acoustic solo intro. I listen for three things leading up to the intro: Gilmour clears his throat, a few seconds later he sniffs, and just before the solo, he inhales deeply.

    I'd say one experience for me was after Trey @VR3 dropped-off the Mezzo Utopias at my house. After he left, my wife and I spun some Eva Cassiday, and had several chill-bump moments - namely during Songbird and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Such a tragedy she left this world too soon. I think it was both a blessing and a curse if she covered an artist's song. A blessing that she chose their song, but a curse in that her version ruined the original in comparison...and IMHO.
    "Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to." - Cicero, in Gladiator
    Regarding collectibles: "It's not who gets it. It's who gets stuck with it." - Jimmy Fallon
  • treitz3treitz3 Posts: 13,902
    You ain't the only one who thinks that way, Jody. She had a wonderful voice. Never heard "The Magic" with her but have enjoyed her songs many a time. It is a shame she left us so soon. I would have loved to have seen her live.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    ~ The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction ~

    ~ Not all things that can be measured can be heard and not all things heard can be measured ~

    ~ When the law ends, tyranny begins ~
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