Source First?

radio, tape, stands and accessories
uktel
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Post by uktel » 25 Sep 2008 16:28

Sorry!
Back to the Original post.
I feel that it really does depend upon the Budget as to the Ideal way to go.
With analogue(less so for CD) The garbage In/Out rule is easily heard.
That does not mean that a competent TT cannot work well through expensive loudspeakers,but a not so competent TT will sound quite poor through them.
Any system will only sound as good as its weakest link so you cannot skimp on any component too much or you will pay the price.
The synergystic balance is critical in any system regardless of price and it is not that uncommon for a smaller budget system that is well balanced to be able to outperform an expensive one.
The matching of the speakers to the room is very important as well,it is very difficult to match a Large speaker to a small room and vice versa.
There are So many ways to put a system together that any Rules cannot always apply.
Every system will have Strengths and weaknesses and the art is to retain the strengths and to address the weaknesses in order to get any real improvements.
Then we have personal taste and that will be a Major part of any system that we can put together,even the STATE OF THE ART SYSTEMS cannot do it all as of yet.

DaveMillier
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Post by DaveMillier » 25 Sep 2008 16:34

pobjoy wrote:
DaveMillier wrote:Dual cs 505 + rotel 820 + celestion Ditton 100

Basically sounded awful in the room in which it was installed.
Why?
Because the combination sounded extemely tiring and unpleasant and all concerned were quite disappointed with their first tentative dabble with real hifi.

DaveMillier
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Post by DaveMillier » 25 Sep 2008 16:39

pobjoy wrote:It certainly isn't obvious why the speakers are the culprits, anyway.
The Dual had a bright and lightweight sound. The rotel had a lean sound. the celestions had a mid forward and bass light sound. The room didn't suit the combination. Larger, fuller, smoother, duller speakers would have helped here. But we were following the recommendations of the day - put your money into the source and amp...

- Best budget deck = Dual 505
- best budget amp = rotel 820 (the BX wasn't out at the time)
- any old speakers will do...

DaveMillier
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Post by DaveMillier » 25 Sep 2008 16:40

uktel wrote:Sorry!
Back to the Original post.
I feel that it really does depend upon the Budget as to the Ideal way to go.
With analogue(less so for CD) The garbage In/Out rule is easily heard.
That does not mean that a competent TT cannot work well through expensive loudspeakers,but a not so competent TT will sound quite poor through them.
Any system will only sound as good as its weakest link so you cannot skimp on any component too much or you will pay the price.
The synergystic balance is critical in any system regardless of price and it is not that uncommon for a smaller budget system that is well balanced to be able to outperform an expensive one.
The matching of the speakers to the room is very important as well,it is very difficult to match a Large speaker to a small room and vice versa.
There are So many ways to put a system together that any Rules cannot always apply.
Every system will have Strengths and weaknesses and the art is to retain the strengths and to address the weaknesses in order to get any real improvements.
Then we have personal taste and that will be a Major part of any system that we can put together,even the STATE OF THE ART SYSTEMS cannot do it all as of yet.
This all sounds perfectly commonsensical to me.

Wulf

Post by Wulf » 25 Sep 2008 19:35

I once heard it said that even the best turntables available are only retrieving about 90% of what's in the groove, provided all is matched and set up just-so. In a way it's a scary thought (how much more will that last 10% cost and will we ever get there?) but it's also encouraging - for those of us who don't have bottomless HiFi budgets, we know there's always more music to be had if we choose and setup our gear correctly.

This has to be part of CD's inherent de-motivational effect - you just know you can't exceed the bit-rate whatever you've got or do with it so in the end you're only messing with differing presentations of exactly the same content - with vinyl every change is audible and sometimes gets you closer to the musical truth :)

p.s. pobjoy, don't be such an arse :roll:

Guest

Post by Guest » 25 Sep 2008 19:57

Pobjoy

Its evident that you have to date managed to rub a lot of people up the wrong way. This forum is for those who wish to share knowledge and to help others. To date it seems if you have done neither. It was politely suggested that you "step out of the shadows" and start sharing something other than cheap arrogance and posting judgemental responses. You are no doubt putting others off which may be amusing to you but its becoming rather tiresome to the rest of us. You are no doubt an intelligent person, as are most on here, so please start using that intelligence and perhaps tempering things with a little more shared wisdom. Pushing buttons may be amusing and one way of sparking debate but its not a very friendly way of achieving that debate. Nuff said.

missan
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Post by missan » 26 Sep 2008 14:20

I like more to think that to get a really good sound, we have to focus more on the components that will influence the most; like when will we reach a level on each component, so an improvement will be difficult to hear. That level (niveau) IMO will fairly quickly be reached with amps. The same can be said regarding Cdps, and all types of cables and ICs.

The level on speakers and cartridges, where you will not most likely hear a better sound, will inherently not be reached, in principle, with any.

My thinking is, that you can spend 2k Euros at good speakers, then without changing anything else, you can buy speakers that costs 10k Euros, and if you aren´t choosing complitely wrong, you will be able to hear a tremendous improvement.
missan

Guest

Post by Guest » 26 Sep 2008 18:18

I agree Missan but only up to a point. Many decent carts/amps etc at a mid priced range of say 500 to 1000 Euros are generally capable of reproducing more detail and dynamics than speakers of equivalent price.

I dont think that anyone would argue too hotly on that one, as the general norm on speakers tends to be more fashion led (ie tall slim boxes or small slim boxes!) than ultimately design led. They generally have semi-decent drivers fitted at this price but the constraints often arise with cabinet design (read "economy") and especially in the design of the mid and treble units at that price level. ie, they're a compromise.

At 10K Euros, you would think that there's no such compromise in driver supplement, and that tends to be true. Also, more work (hence some of the additional cost) does go into acoustically engineering the cabinets with better materials, stiffness, damping and shape. Such boxes (or rather non-boxes) are more difficult to manufacture at the more budget end of the spectrum, but there are still bargains to be had and I'm sure that we can all roll off a list of classic designs as long as your arm here (my current speakers included) which secondhand are somewhat of a bargain.

Also, the higher-end speakers (not all, but many) for some inextricable reason tend to be less sensitive (except for horn designs). Look at Wilson Benesch loudspeakers or those from ATC, or even the great B&W 802's. Horrible impedance characteristics for lower powered amps and require lots of wattage. Speaker selection is notoriously difficult as it does for many require expert knowledge to achieve the best match for your room, amp and wallet . I know I've been banging on about this on other threads too, but its a vitally important part of system choice to get these right. No need though to loose sleep over it as a reliable arbitor of what is right and wrong is your own ears, so auditions are a must if you intend to replace speakers or add to a new system, and those auditions should be done in your own home on your own kit. I avoid dealers who dont allow this but many will.

DaveMillier
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Post by DaveMillier » 26 Sep 2008 19:31

missan wrote:I like more to think that to get a really good sound, we have to focus more on the components that will influence the most; like when will we reach a level on each component, so an improvement will be difficult to hear. That level (niveau) IMO will fairly quickly be reached with amps. The same can be said regarding Cdps, and all types of cables and ICs.

The level on speakers and cartridges, where you will not most likely hear a better sound, will inherently not be reached, in principle, with any.

My thinking is, that you can spend 2k Euros at good speakers, then without changing anything else, you can buy speakers that costs 10k Euros, and if you aren´t choosing complitely wrong, you will be able to hear a tremendous improvement.
missan
Just got back from today's London Philharmonic rehearsal. They are interested in the possibility of us recording them with Panambiophonic techniques!

I think you are correct about the idea of a balanced approach to system building. If you plan to go down the phased upgrade path it makes sense to optimise one component at a time but if you are looking for a one off purchase there is little point in buying say speakers that are more revealing that the source or vice versa. The best way is to buy components with matched levels of performance.

The caveat I have to this is that sources and amps long ago reached very high levels of performance at quite modest expenditures (digital sources, that is). Speakers however (and the rooms they are played in) still have oodles of room for improvement and there is a big difference between starter speakers and expensive speakers (there are also lots of speakers out there that cost a fortune but don't provide particularly good value).

Guest

Post by Guest » 26 Sep 2008 19:44

Well put Dave. I couldn't agree more.

scorchin34
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Post by scorchin34 » 27 Sep 2008 14:42

Uktel said it for me "garbage in garbage out" and I come from this edict in one way only and this is Amp first. Why you ask? Well it's about speaker control for me, I had all sorts of neat kit pass through my systems except for the amp, I plodded along with the same old same old and found some kit sounding nice and some not, to explain kit just think source and speaker combos please.

Well one of my stereo Buds said "dude you gotta get rid of that amp and find something that will compliment anything you throw at it, something with precise bass control or as close to it as possible and with decent all around mid & high balance to it as well, he also stated that something that's well balanced will be an asset between channels, we all heard those right channel or left channel heavy amps haven't we. So the amp of choice was a nice little Class A deal with very sweet all around sound production.

So from there I set upon the source "kit" tried several combos, Dacs, Cd player/transports/tables and of course speakers and finally interconnects, unfortunately I'm one of those Cats that can hear the difference in cables so that puts me square in the realm of diminished returns, I'll blather on about interconnects some other day.

Took me along time and with a modest budget I put together a couple sweet systems composed of new and used gear some modded some not.
Remember there's nothing wrong with used and or new in making your selections.

Peace,
Preston

bauzace50
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Post by bauzace50 » 27 Sep 2008 14:49

Hi,
just to modify my initial premise. When Starting Out From Nothing: my best bet would be a good turntable/arm/cartridge. This can play my LPs safely with no damage, in order to outlive and out-perform any other components down the chain for many years.
Cheers to all, great views,
bauzace50

DaveMillier
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Post by DaveMillier » 27 Sep 2008 14:52

scorchin34 wrote:Uktel said it for me "garbage in garbage out" and I come from this edict in one way only and this is Amp first. Why you ask? Well it's about speaker control for me, I had all sorts of neat kit pass through my systems except for the amp, I plodded along with the same old same old and found some kit sounding nice and some not, to explain kit just think source and speaker combos please.

Well one of my stereo Buds said "dude you gotta get rid of that amp and find something that will compliment anything you throw at it, something with precise bass control or as close to it as possible and with decent all around mid & high balance to it as well, he also stated that something that's well balanced will be an asset between channels, we all heard those right channel or left channel heavy amps haven't we. So the amp of choice was a nice little Class A deal with very sweet all around sound production.

So from there I set upon the source "kit" tried several combos, Dacs, Cd player/transports/tables and of course speakers and finally interconnects, unfortunately I'm one of those Cats that can hear the difference in cables so that puts me square in the realm of diminished returns, I'll blather on about interconnects some other day.

Took me along time and with a modest budget I put together a couple sweet systems composed of new and used gear some modded some not.
Remember there's nothing wrong with used and or new in making your selections.

Peace,
Preston
I asked my mate Phil (who designed the NAD PE range a few years ago) about the importance of amps in system building.

He looked at me funny. When I was at NAD, he said, the boys there were proper engineers, not audiophile weirdos. Amps don't really have a sound. As far as we were concerned, the bottom of the range sounds exactly the same as the top of the range. Unless you've got some kind of horrible speaker with a badly designed load, don't bother with fancy amps.

scorchin34
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Post by scorchin34 » 27 Sep 2008 16:08

Hi Dave,
Interesting point but you leave wondering, why does the bottom of the range sound the same as the top?? Why bother having a range consisting of different price points if they are all to sound the same???

Peace,
Preston

Alec124c41
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Post by Alec124c41 » 27 Sep 2008 18:14

Theory is one thing, practice is another. When I traded my Yamaha CR-800 for a CR-1020 for the more versatile switching, I did not expect any difference in sound. What I got was a much more solid bottom end. :)
Pioneer SX-727, 939 of same era sound a little darker.
Mission 728? (Cyrus 0, if you will) sounds clean and solid.
Marantz 1152DC, 2275 are a touch to the mellow side of the Yamahas.
Amplifier differences (above a certain threshold) are not as dramatic as speaker or front end differences, but they are there.

Alec