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Best and Worst things about HiFi

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DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
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Ajani said:
Of course, whether most audiophiles would even give Beats a real chance if they fixed the sound quality, or dismiss them off hand is another issue entirely.
Beats, the Bose of headphones!
 

Ajani

New member
Apr 9, 2008
42
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0
DocG said:
Ajani said:
Of course, whether most audiophiles would even give Beats a real chance if they fixed the sound quality, or dismiss them off hand is another issue entirely.
Beats, the Bose of headphones!
lol... That's exactly what they are... though to be fair, Bose actually produces headphones...

But yeah, Beats is about as hated by audiophiles as Bose...
 

Glacialpath

New member
Apr 7, 2010
118
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steve_1979 said:
I had a listen to the most expensive pair of Beats they have in an Apple store last week (not sure if it was the Solo 2) and they were rubbish. Bloated bass and an unclear midrange which literally sounds worse than the £5 headphones that my girlfriend owns. They may sound passable when listening to hip hop music while walking around the streets but I wouldn't be able to enjoy any other music on them.
From experience the Solo headphones (haven't listened to Solo 2) which I think most people have when the go for the on ear kind are appauling sound wise. For £150 or what ever they are my £30 pain of Sennheizer HD 202 headphone out performe them easily. However when I have a listen to the Solo pain using spotfy on my phone, I then tried the more expensive Mixr pair next to them and the whole sound stage opened up and the clarity was pretty impressive. The low, mid and high end were all there. So eaither the people who bought the solo ones just felt £15 was enough of a spend and though because they had spent that much that they sounded good or they didn't try the Mixr pair and were put off by the higher price but they should have gone for the Mixr pain.

I've listened to some of the even more expencive ones but there wasn't a Mixr pair or an un broken Solo pain in the store to compare them to. Plus they were plugged into a listening station so I couldn't use my own source.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
Ajani said:
In the case of Beats there are reasons to potentially make changes:

1) The winning formula was really about the looks and promotion of the product. Those key factors have remained unchanged.

2) Most pro reviews that I've read (even from non-audiophile reviewers) have described the sound as just average or below par for the price. So they could improve the sound while keeping the key factrors in the winning formula unchanged.
Doesn't stop them selling! :)
 

Native_bon

Well-known member
Nov 26, 2008
180
2
18,595
steve_1979 said:
MrReaper182 said:
chebby said:
MrReaper182 said:
...the majority of people have never cared about sound quality no matter what the decade.
... although, on the whole, they are getting much better sound quality now whether they care about it or not.
Not if they buy a pair of Beats heaphones like a lot of people seem to do.
How do those awful sounding Beats keep getting five star reviews on Amazon?
Goes to beg the question how many other stuff gets good reviews just on popularity rather than performance..
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
matt49 said:
relocated said:
ps., You don't have to 'believe' that 'active' is "inherently superior to passives". That is just a plain and simple fact that can and has been proved, over and over and over again. It is not disputed by major speaker manufacturers of any worth.
Ah yes, careless generalizations. Surely one of the best things about hi-fi.

I have a pair of hybrid speakers (passive above 350Hz, active below). I'd be prepared to wager a large sum of money that these speakers are measurably better across the passive part of their range than any dynamic active speakers that have ever been made (assuming by "better" we mean that they distort less).

One of the things about the active/passive debate is that it tends to work on the assumption that you're using dynamic speakers. Which is fine. But active dynamic speakers fail to address the biggest source of distortion in the audio chain: cones chuffing in and out, all that mass that needs to be controlled. Silly really, when you can design a transducer that's effectively mass-less and so reduces the amount of distortion hugely.

And then there's the crossover in the "presence" zone. Sure, an active dynamic speaker may be better than a passive version of the same speaker, but an ESL panel that has no mid-range or HF crossover at all and therefore doesn't need to be active has an advantage over any active dynamic design with crossovers.

There's a good reason why Martin Logan (a major speaker manufacturer, I think) make hybrid designs like this. The bass cone benefits from being driven actively. The 'static panel doesn't. In other words, here's a major speaker manufacturer that sees no advantage in going fully active.

So yes, active speakers are always better than passives, except when they're not.

Matt
Not entirely true as the electrostatic panel has to be 'energised' to work, - but I get your drift.
 

Infiniteloop

Well-known member
Jul 23, 2010
48
4
18,545
Native_bon said:
I would say the same..... All things being equal Active will reproduce a better sound any day compared to passive speakers. Only disadvantage of active is not being able to tailor sound as much as passive speakers.
You might change your mind if you heard a pair of SAM'ed passive speakers driven by a Devialet....
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
Infiniteloop said:
Native_bon said:
I would say the same..... All things being equal Active will reproduce a better sound any day compared to passive speakers. Only disadvantage of active is not being able to tailor sound as much as passive speakers.
You might change your mind if you heard a pair of SAM'ed passive speakers driven by a Devialet....
Having had a go with the Devialet some time back (pre SAM) I think it is a wonderful amplifier, were I contemplating spending £5-10k on a dac/amp and speaker combo, it would be the first thing I look at.

However, I think it is worth pointing out that most of the active setups discussed here are far less expensive, very few exceeding £2.5k, a very different price point.

I have said many times, one of the biggest advantages of active setups is their relatively low cost, they make fine alternatives at the budget end of the market and were I contemplating a setup in that (up to £2.5k) range they would most likely be my choice.
 

MrReaper182

New member
Apr 6, 2014
63
0
0
steve_1979 said:
Ajani said:
steve_1979 said:
MrReaper182 said:
chebby said:
MrReaper182 said:
...the majority of people have never cared about sound quality no matter what the decade.
... although, on the whole, they are getting much better sound quality now whether they care about it or not.
Not if they buy a pair of Beats heaphones like a lot of people seem to do.
How do those awful sounding Beats keep getting five star reviews on Amazon?
Interestingly enough, I just read that the Beats Solo 2 are supposed to be excellent headphones. I won't post the link to the review, but just google the name of the reviewer (Tyll Hertsens) and you should find the review. He is one of the leading headphone reviewers and he thouroughly trashed the original Solo and the other Beats headphones he reviewed.

I am interested to see if the success with the Solo 2 is just luck or a sign that Beats have taken audiphile criticisms to heart.
I had a listen to the most expensive pair of Beats they have in an Apple store last week (not sure if it was the Solo 2) and they were rubbish. Bloated bass and an unclear midrange which literally sounds worse than the £5 headphones that my girlfriend owns. They may sound passable when listening to hip hop music while walking around the streets but I wouldn't be able to enjoy any other music on them.
I have listend to the hip-hop band Da La Soul on some Beats a while back and the Beats did an awful job with the music. It was all bad bass and there was no detail in the music. The Beats are no good for good hip-hop music and the people who think they are the type of people who think that Will i Am, 50 Cent and Timbaland are hip-hop which they are so not.
 

DocG

New member
May 1, 2012
53
0
0
Ajani said:
DocG said:
Ajani said:
Of course, whether most audiophiles would even give Beats a real chance if they fixed the sound quality, or dismiss them off hand is another issue entirely.
Beats, the Bose of headphones!
lol... That's exactly what they are... though to be fair, Bose actually produces headphones...

But yeah, Beats is about as hated by audiophiles as Bose...
And Bose, just like Beats apparently, have a couple of excellent products (I own the QuietComfort 15 and love it -- for mowing the lawn, that is!)*music2*
 

Tzutzu

Well-known member
Mar 23, 2013
12
0
10,520
I think that HiFi is very much like football. The billion combinations (of music, means of transporting it, gear and listeners) make it a perpetual surprise. And that's nice. What's not so nice is that HiFi is like football. Everybody is a specialist and knows the best. But in the end... that's why we're here.*smile*
 

Craig M.

New member
Mar 20, 2008
127
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0
Infiniteloop said:
Native_bon said:
I would say the same..... All things being equal Active will reproduce a better sound any day compared to passive speakers. Only disadvantage of active is not being able to tailor sound as much as passive speakers.
You might change your mind if you heard a pair of SAM'ed passive speakers driven by a Devialet....
Just speaker specific DSP isn't it? You can get actives that do that. ;)

edit: to answer the op, the good - how good it can make your music sound. The bad - all the bs attached to it, and that it seems to be dying on its arse in regard to how many people are actually bothered about having one (hifi).
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
davedotco said:
Having had a go with the Devialet some time back (pre SAM) I think it is a wonderful amplifier, were I contemplating spending £5-10k on a dac/amp and speaker combo, it would be the first thing I look at.

However, I think it is worth pointing out that most of the active setups discussed here are far less expensive, very few exceeding £2.5k, a very different price point.

I have said many times, one of the biggest advantages of active setups is their relatively low cost, they make fine alternatives at the budget end of the market and were I contemplating a setup in that (up to £2.5k) range they would most likely be my choice.
So, if you had a budget of £2.5K, would you not consider a 2nd hand system which might be passive or active. As the advantage of 2nd hand is the high end sound quality available at low low prices.

With your huge experience of hi-fi, putting together a great sounding 2nd hand system that suited your tastes for under £2.5k would be a quick and simple matter.
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
lindsayt said:
davedotco said:
Having had a go with the Devialet some time back (pre SAM) I think it is a wonderful amplifier, were I contemplating spending £5-10k on a dac/amp and speaker combo, it would be the first thing I look at.

However, I think it is worth pointing out that most of the active setups discussed here are far less expensive, very few exceeding £2.5k, a very different price point.

I have said many times, one of the biggest advantages of active setups is their relatively low cost, they make fine alternatives at the budget end of the market and were I contemplating a setup in that (up to £2.5k) range they would most likely be my choice.
So, if you had a budget of £2.5K, would you not consider a 2nd hand system which might be passive or active. As the advantage of 2nd hand is the high end sound quality available at low low prices.

With your huge experience of hi-fi, putting together a great sounding 2nd hand system that suited your tastes for under £2.5k would be a quick and simple matter.
For once you are actually quite correct.

I would be very surprised if I was to buy a system in that range that comprised of the usual mainstream products, I have little time for any of them whatever their reputations.

Whether I buy new or used might depend as much on style and functionality as sound quality. My music collection is with my system, in storage, so 90+% of my listening is streamed, currently Spotify so the source would have to be pretty modern, I am a big fan of Spotify Connect which narrows the options somewhat.

Amplification can probably be hidden, probably the dac too but speakers would have to look the part. Sonus Faber Electors or Electa Amator, would be nice, maybe the Liuto too, but they are all likely to be too expensive and are pretty rare, most 'vintage' speakers would be out of the question looks wise.

Were I spending the money now, I would start with a Bluesound Node and a pair of ADM9RS, that would be my benchmark. In a larger room I might feed the Node into a nice dac/pre-amp such as the Matrix Mini I and choose between active monitors such as the Adam A7x, Quested S7r or a valve driven passive playback setup.

I am a lot more flexible than you might think, but these days I really only have the space for one system and that is in a smart modern living room, large wooden veneer boxes would not be appropriate.
 

RobinKidderminster

New member
May 27, 2009
582
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0
Sorry to interupt - is this the Active speaker fan club thread or do I need to turn left down the corridor?

Or maybe its just an old echo?
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
20
0
0
RobinKidderminster said:
Sorry to interupt - is this the Active speaker fan club thread or do I need to turn left down the corridor?

Or maybe its just an old echo?
Yep.

Turn left and left again, that's where tou will find the 'classic' Sonus Faber, driven by valve amplification club.
 

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