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Discussion: Haydn: String Quartets - Amsterdam String Quartet

Posts: 6

Post by nickc March 5, 2014 (1 of 6)
Attendant on tonereef's excoriatory (and, from one label owner to another perhaps slightly intemperate?) review I pulled out the above disc again and....I can see where he is coming from.
It really is resonant and slightly metallic.
I gave the sound five stars in my review, I'd probably downgrade to three or three and a half now.
N

Post by Beagle March 5, 2014 (2 of 6)
nickc said: I can see where he is coming from.
--And I can hear it:

In the opening moments of track one, but much less so in the ensuing tracks. And even on Haydn: String Quartets Vol. 2 - The Amsterdam String Quartet I detect, for want of a better word, a slight 'nasal' quality to the upper strings.

Amsterdam isn't Vienna. Alida Schat et alia are playing with more legato than the Wieners have taught us to expect; i.e. the bow lingers a bit longer, slightly slurring notes. Definitely not the short discrete bowing of the baroque, but Haydn isn't baroque. In the menuetto of Opus 66/6 (vol.2), their legato suits Papa Joe's comic intent immensely.

I agree that the acoustic space on these discs is more reverberant than that on some other discs, but judging by comments on this forum, that is a matter of personal taste. And I concede without being asked, that the first moments of Haydn: String Quartets - Amsterdam String Quartet startle me -- but I very much enjoy all that follows.

And thanks for reminding me to listen to Haydn!

Post by Geohominid March 5, 2014 (3 of 6)
After reading some rather extreme condemnation of the recording quality of this disc, and being the original reviewer, I've just re-played it with a system which has been upgraded several times since the review. I still agree with my original comments on the sonics. It is a matter of taste how much ambience is expected in a chamber recital. Some listeners are not attuned to period stringed instruments, with little vibrato and different bowing techniques. Each to their preferences. I personally think the engineers did a good job on this issue and I still enjoy it as I did on my first encounter with it.

Regards,
John

Post by Adrian Cue March 24, 2014 (4 of 6)
Geohominid said:

After reading some rather extreme condemnation of the recording quality of this disc, and being the original reviewer, I've just re-played it with a system which has been upgraded several times since the review. I still agree with my original comments on the sonics. It is a matter of taste how much ambience is expected in a chamber recital. Some listeners are not attuned to period stringed instruments, with little vibrato and different bowing techniques. Each to their preferences. I personally think the engineers did a good job on this issue and I still enjoy it as I did on my first encounter with it.

Regards,
John

Do we have different ears and/or different equipment?

I too, was struck by Tonereef’s comments. I have this disk and sound wise I’ve never felt it to be so extremely bad that it is impossible to listen to. Rather on the contrary. The sound is crystalline clear with perhaps some ‘empty churchliness’ around it, but certainly not ‘an all-enveloping resonance’. Neither do I share Analogues view that ‘its bottom end is dull’. I find the cello part lively and excellently recorded

I am not questioning both reviewers’ judgment. I only wonder how it is possible that we seem to hear things differently.

While ears certainly are a personal matter, I have no idea what kind of equipment Rembrandt has, as he doesn’t list it. As for Tony Reef, I cannot judge the kind of DIY Amp he is using. But looking at both members’ preference, I assume that their equipment is geared to listening to Jazz.

The following example could account for their subjectively different listening experience.

When I sought to replace my ageing B&W speakers with a set of GoldenEar Technology, the seller had them hooked up to an aggressive and powerful amp (sorry, forgot the brand), which he was running in for someone else who mainly listened to Jazz. I brought some of my own disks and noticed at once that in combination with the speakers (and in stereo only!) they produced an awful sound: Sharp and, indeed, abrasive.

When I next listened with my Linn surround set-up, the problem had disappeared. And with my new Cambridge Audio Azur 752BD the sound was even better, especially now that the speakers have been run-in.

This proves, in my view, how important it is to carefully balance the different links in your listening chain, also with an eye to the kind of music you prefer to listen to.

It would perhaps be a good thing if reviewers list their equipment to allow readers to take that into consideration.

As far as I am concerned I share John’s view and original review.

Post by Kveld-Úlfr March 25, 2014 (5 of 6)
Adrian Cue said:

[too long to be quoted]

Thanks Adrian, you convinced me, I'll buy that disc.
Did you have another CA universal player before your 752BD ? I own a 651BD and wonder if this would be an upgrade.

Post by Adrian Cue March 25, 2014 (6 of 6)
Kveld-Úlfr said:


Did you have another CA universal player before your 752BD ?

I had (and still have) a Linn Unidisk SC. Excellent quality, but no Blu-Ray, wi-fi etc. Hence not future proof. If 752BD is a suitable upgrade I wouldn't know. It does have 5 dac's which, I think, the 651 has not. I like the sound, but others will tell you that Oppo 105 is better.

Closed