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Breakes on . . . ?

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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I sit and I think a lot, whilst listening to my hifi . . . Where are we actualy going and why. HiFi is a hobby, I'v been going around and around in my head, making changes to my hifi, finaly I have come to a personal pinical. There are other hifi mountains to climb, but for the time being I'm satisfied . . .

This brings me to look back, survey the ground I have covered. Whilst doing this 'looking back', my new computer bowles me a googly, improved sound? Which set me thinking, 'why do we do it'. Vast amounts of money, 'vast' is obviously relitive to income and asperations.

I look at my own recent thinking and the considerations of a lot of members . . . speaker cable change and the 'differance it makes?'; the cost per meter :? is unbelievable, especialy as I know the actual production price is equaly silly in the other direction! Are we being lead by the nose?

I was seriously looking at the speaker cable route a few weeks ago . . . fortunatly brakes on!! I'm happy with my 'music' as it is . . .

Digging in my '1980's, usefull someday box' I found something called 'the KEY' by Colin Brett . . . an item about the size of a Swan vesta match box, with an in and out speaker terminal. Connect to the positive speaker cables, quote: ". . . unlock your sound . . . " there is a brightening of the presentation. Better or different . . . ? I believe this is where we are getting things wrong, better is a factor of deminishing returnes, it fast gets to different? 'the Key' gives me an insite into how cable changes sound. I remember doing a good few hours listening to cables in the 80's, coming down to 'different', so which do I prefer.

Its not only cables . . . speakers, amps, cartridges etc., etc., . . . all have different voices, the better factor, is it just in our heads and wallets?

Been there with other hobbies, new expensive golf clubs dont make a better golfer, fancy fishing rods dont catch better fish and super quality cameras have no affect on snap shot photograph. Its all about, experiance, method and adjustment, the fancy stuff only makes minimal differeance; 0.xx%, minimal cost effectivness. Extract the best from the least . . . !

Thats not to say, a 'genuine bargin' should not be taken advantage of, been there with gratitude, makes the hobbyist feel better, but how often do we see, 'help, it does not sound good' :wall:

The hifi is in for economy tweakes . . . I'm spending any of my money on new music and our garden this year.

CJSF
 

SteveR750

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CJ, I am a firm believe that we convince (sometimes kid?) ourselves that something is better when often it isn't much or at all, and occasionally worse. My feelings towards the ProAcs a case in point...
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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CJSF said:
Been there with other hobbies, new expensive golf clubs dont make a better golfer, fancy fishing rods dont catch better fish and super quality cameras have no affect on snap shot photograph. Its all about, experiance, method and adjustment, the fancy stuff only makes minimal differeance; 0.xx%, minimal cost effectivness. Extract the best from the least . . . !
I think it's a mixture of things, but nothing universal. Sometimes it could be using top quality products give someone the confidence to perform better, like a golfer, or feel more comfortable with the feel of some products, so again, may perform better. With some equipment, it can or is down to knowing how to get the best from it, like a complex camera. A Formula One car can be quite a different beast in the hands of different drivers. I don't think there's any single answer, it's different for all of us.
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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I think, as I'm getting older, I'm taking on my Father way of looking at life. Content with his lot, he said to me, "you can only sit in one chair, eat one meal, live in one house at a time", his life was very relaxed and fourfilled.

He enjoyed his music via very simple equipment.

As you say Steve, I do think we kid ourselves sometimes, mixing up different with better.

Frank Harvey, you are in part right, however, especialy with fishing, no one has told the fish it is being caught with the most expensive of tackle, its all about angler gratification. I think the gratification factor can creap into hifi, impressing other even? The faciest of kit, if not adjustusted corectly will produce very poor results. Proper adjustment offer limited improvement the higher the price with quastonable value for money?. . . a majour problem in hifi IMHO, same with racing cars, serching for 0.001 of a second? . . . but money drives that one!!!

My late Fathers ideas suit me, enjoy whats there is, get the best from it and relax, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is never there . . .

CJSF
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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SteveR750 said:
CJ, I am a firm believe that we convince (sometimes kid?) ourselves that something is better when often it isn't much or at all, and occasionally worse. My feelings towards the ProAcs a case in point...
Indeed: We always assume the grass is always greener... when in reality, for no particular reason or a fault, that upgrading doesn't necessarily mean better. I found this from years of testing and comparing. I think, a little like drinking alcohol, one needs to know when to stop.

My brakes are firmly on until I stumble across a product that'll do my amp justice or has the WOW factor.
 

CJSF

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plastic penguin said:
My brakes are firmly on until I stumble across a product that'll do my amp justice or has the WOW factor.
I agree totaly PP . . . CJSF
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
CJSF said:
plastic penguin said:
My brakes are firmly on until I stumble across a product that'll do my amp justice or has the WOW factor.
I agree totaly PP . . . CJSF
So '' WHAT IF'' you win the lotto and the hifi world is your oyster. Will you stay with your content system ? :)
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
CJSF said:
Been there with other hobbies, new expensive golf clubs dont make a better golfer, fancy fishing rods dont catch better fish and super quality cameras have no affect on snap shot photograph. Its all about, experiance, method and adjustment, the fancy stuff only makes minimal differeance; 0.xx%, minimal cost effectivness.
Well, new and expensive golf clubs may make for a better experience when playing golf. Sure, you may not perform better, but you may enjoy it more. Same with fancy fishing rods and super quality cameras.

And I don't agree that fancy stuff only makes minimal difference. I just upgraded my amp for instance, and the difference was anything but minimal. But I suppose the law of diminishing returns do hold in hifi though as in many other areas of life.

Best,

Henrik
 

plastic penguin

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FATS 2828 said:
CJSF said:
plastic penguin said:
My brakes are firmly on until I stumble across a product that'll do my amp justice or has the WOW factor.
I agree totaly PP . . . CJSF
So '' WHAT IF'' you win the lotto and the hifi world is your oyster. Will you stay with your content system ? :)
Life is full of 'what ifs...' What if I never have a hefty lottery win? That's a more pertinent question. Or flip the whole question on its back: If I don't win the lottery am I happy to keep the current system? The answer is most certainly a big fat* YES!!

* Sorry, no pun or connection to your username...;)
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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I'm not in it to argue, just my personal opinion, which will obviously not match every ones view. Simply remember the differance between 'differant and better' . . .I think 'need and want' can also be included here? . . . :type:

CJSF

PS. By the way, lottery ods of 14,000,000/1 are not even worth considering . . . :wall:
 

CnoEvil

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Aug 21, 2009
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CJSF said:
I'm not in it to argue, just my personal opinion, which will obviously not match every ones view. Simply remember the differance between 'differant and better' . . .I think 'need and want' can also be included here? . . . :type:

CJSF
....I usually go with preferable. :)
 

Sabby

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Jul 22, 2009
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We humans are a restless breed, never quite content with what we've got, always striving to improve our lot, looking for something better..... it never ever ends. This striving to achieve perfection will always go on, it's something that's in our genes. I also recently changed my amp and there was indeed a noticeable improvement in my system. I did not imagine it, it was there. I am always looking at ways and means to improve my system, I just cannot stop myself! The knowledge that there is always something better out there is simply irresistible. That in a nutshell is the fascination of this hobby, the realisation that we haven't quite achieved perfection yet.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Sabby said:
We humans are a restless breed, never quite content with what we've got, always striving to improve our lot, looking for something better..... it never ever ends. This striving to achieve perfection will always go on, it's something that's in our genes. I also recently changed my amp and there was indeed a noticeable improvement in my system. I did not imagine it, it was there. I am always looking at ways and means to improve my system, I just cannot stop myself! The knowledge that there is always something better out there is simply irresistible. That in a nutshell is the fascination of this hobby, the realisation that we haven't quite achieved perfection yet.
The Holy Grail is system perfection. Unfortunately, like chasing rainbows, the 'P' factor is never achieved, unless you've got bottomless pockets. Certainly the real side of 20k it isn't achievable. I concur though, this hobby/obession can be an emotional as well as being a financial drain, hence in my last post I did say "you need to know when to draw a line."
 

Frank Harvey

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plastic penguin said:
The Holy Grail is system perfection. Unfortunately, like chasing rainbows, the 'P' factor is never achieved, unless you've got bottomless pockets. Certainly the real side of 20k it isn't achievable.
Due to streaming music, it's now more achievable though. Ten/twenty years ago you needed a top vinyl/CD source in order to get a good system, which could set you back a good £5k or more for use in a top flight system - that outlay has been heavily reduced. So you can now get a far better system for £20k than ever before. I think there's been a fair step forward with speakers as well. Granted, they may cost more now, but the understanding of loudspeakers and how to achieve a more accurate sound with less distortion is far greater than its ever been, and all this technology is filtering down :)
 

CnoEvil

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Due to streaming music, it's now more achievable though. Ten/twenty years ago you needed a top vinyl/CD source in order to get a good system, which could set you back a good £5k or more for use in a top flight system - that outlay has been heavily reduced.
This is certainly what I've found to be the case, having owned both a highend TT in the past, and still own what was a fairly expensive CDP 20 years ago.
 

plastic penguin

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FrankHarveyHiFi said:
plastic penguin said:
The Holy Grail is system perfection. Unfortunately, like chasing rainbows, the 'P' factor is never achieved, unless you've got bottomless pockets. Certainly the real side of 20k it isn't achievable.
Due to streaming music, it's now more achievable though. Ten/twenty years ago you needed a top vinyl/CD source in order to get a good system, which could set you back a good £5k or more for use in a top flight system - that outlay has been heavily reduced. So you can now get a far better system for £20k than ever before. I think there's been a fair step forward with speakers as well. Granted, they may cost more now, but the understanding of loudspeakers and how to achieve a more accurate sound with less distortion is far greater than its ever been, and all this technology is filtering down :)
Hope we don't find perfection, otherwise this little hobby we all preach will die. In a similar way hope there isn't a one tab cure for the common cold: If it exists the pharmaceutical industry, as we know it Jim...:), will cease to exist.
 

CJSF

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Mmm . . . interesting reading, however, I'm with my Father . . . satisfaction and contentment equals the long lasting plesure of enjoyment . . . That dont mean stop, not in my book, it means look back, savour and enjoy for a while. As my original post says, 'there are other hifi mountains to climb' but for the time being, take it in and relax, ad punctuation to you hifi pleasure? But remember, you will never find the end of the rainbow.

CJSF
 

plastic penguin

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CnoEvil said:
FrankHarveyHiFi said:
Due to streaming music, it's now more achievable though. Ten/twenty years ago you needed a top vinyl/CD source in order to get a good system, which could set you back a good £5k or more for use in a top flight system - that outlay has been heavily reduced.
This is certainly what I've found to be the case, having owned both a highend TT in the past, and still own what was a fairly expensive CDP 20 years ago.
Going back to my previous post: Clearly a common cold keeps you streaming...:bounce:
 

Frank Harvey

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CJSF said:
But remember, you will never find the end of the rainbow.
Maybe not, but we're in with the chance of getting much closer to it now.

Take the home cinema industry for example. After 30 years of domestic home cinema, we now have, on the market today, a home cinema projector that is capable of the same high resolution as that of a digital projector in a cinema - the same resolution that films are now being recorded in, and have been as far back as 6/7 years ago. Many films from up to 100 years ago are now being scanned at this resolution and remastered for existing Bluray, and will be ready to port to the next 4K Bluray format more or less directly. These player will be available next year.

Granted, this home cinema projector I'd currently just over £16k, but my reckoning is that within 5 years, we'll be seeing sub £5k 4K2K projectors. That IS the holy grail as far as film fanatics are concerned. So why is it not going to be possible for audio? The next 5-10 years will be an interesting time for the audio market, I think.
 

matthewpiano

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Nov 23, 2007
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Good points made by CJSF and Sabby, from different perspectives.

I certainly agree with CJSF that often 'better' is actually 'different'. Of course, 'better' is hard to quantify in a universal way because we all have different priorities as to what we want from our systems and our music. Some of us look for exceptional performance in particular areas - bass, for example, or imaging. Others look for a consistent spread of ability across as many areas of performance as possible and find that having exceptional performance in one or two areas throws the other shortfalls of a system into sharp relief. My view is that today's budget equipment starts with a consistently good standard across the board. Then you go into the £500-£1,000 price range and you start to get exceptional performance in some areas of performance but not in others. To some, who value those particular areas that have been tackled exceptionally well, this might be 'better', to the rest of us it could well just be 'different' or even 'not as good'. Once you break over the £1,000 barrier you start to get the exceptionally high standards and consistency in my experience and that is where I would say 'better' might become more universal, if not completely so.

I also agree with Sabby, that wanting to achieve the best possible results with a system is human nature. I'm very much enjoying my system at present but I do still think about ways of eeking the best out of it. I swapped my QED Evolution XT cables out for my Chord Carnival Silverscreen on Friday night and, whilst the difference wasn't night and day overall, the Chord brings the music together in a more cohesive whole. It was a tweak worth making, particularly as I already had the cable. I don't see any problem with little tweaks like this or, indeed, component changes if they lead to what the person or people using the system hear as improvements and translate into greater enjoyment. Where I do think it gets silly is when the music starts to become a vehicle for the hi-fi rather than the other way round, and I also don't ever want to be in the position again where my focus is so firmly on the kit and I forget about large parts of my music collection.
 

plastic penguin

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matthewpiano said:
Good points made by CJSF and Sabby, from different perspectives.

I certainly agree with CJSF that often 'better' is actually 'different'. Of course, 'better' is hard to quantify in a universal way because we all have different priorities as to what we want from our systems and our music. Some of us look for exceptional performance in particular areas - bass, for example, or imaging. Others look for a consistent spread of ability across as many areas of performance as possible and find that having exceptional performance in one or two areas throws the other shortfalls of a system into sharp relief. My view is that today's budget equipment starts with a consistently good standard across the board. Then you go into the £500-£1,000 price range and you start to get exceptional performance in some areas of performance but not in others. To some, who value those particular areas that have been tackled exceptionally well, this might be 'better', to the rest of us it could well just be 'different' or even 'not as good'. Once you break over the £1,000 barrier you start to get the exceptionally high standards and consistency in my experience and that is where I would say 'better' might become more universal, if not completely so.

I also agree with Sabby, that wanting to achieve the best possible results with a system is human nature. I'm very much enjoying my system at present but I do still think about ways of eeking the best out of it. I swapped my QED Evolution XT cables out for my Chord Carnival Silverscreen on Friday night and, whilst the difference wasn't night and day overall, the Chord brings the music together in a more cohesive whole. It was a tweak worth making, particularly as I already had the cable. I don't see any problem with little tweaks like this or, indeed, component changes if they lead to what the person or people using the system hear as improvements and translate into greater enjoyment. Where I do think it gets silly is when the music starts to become a vehicle for the hi-fi rather than the other way round, and I also don't ever want to be in the position again where my focus is so firmly on the kit and I forget about large parts of my music collection.
Ahem...;)

"Indeed: We always assume the grass is always greener... when in reality, for no particular reason or a fault, that upgrading doesn't necessarily mean better. I found this from years of testing and comparing. I think, a little like drinking alcohol, one needs to know when to stop."
 

amcluesent

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When the seagulls follow the trawler, it's because they think sardines will be thrown in to the sea - Sartre
 

CJSF

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Another thought, compared with the 'good old days', its not sprising modern hifi hobbyists spend a lot of time changing what are majour and expensive items in their system.

We used to buy our system, upgrade as and when, however inbetween we 'adjusted' the TT to fit the new, improved? capability of the system . . . modern digital hifi has little or no room for adjustment, the only option is throw money at it???

I know I'm a tweaker, born of my geans and those golden analogue days of yester year. I've driven Chebby mad with my tweaking threads. Now I've reached a platough, I look back and enjoy, spend time on other things that need my attention, but the tweaking goes on.

There was a thread a few weeks ago asking about Russ Andrews wooden cones. There have been a few threads talking about the claimed atributes of verious wood isolation systems? A bit geeky I thought, but the seed was sown, I made a set of three from mahogany offcuts, they sat in a draw for a month or so, cos I was busy with other non hifi things. I tried them on Friday, suporting the isolation board under my TT . . . Considering they cost me nothing, cobbled together from the 'usefull one day box', the improvement was worth the effort. Yes, better not just different, more subtle detail in the background and slight firming up of the lower frequancies.

They replaced metal cones, that I had also made, a fancy comercial set would set you back £50! Russ's Oak cones are a lot cheaper, mine cost £0 . . . + an hours fetlling.

Another economic idea I might try, one day . . . Many years ago, I did an experiment using house wiring mains cable. Its all a buit vague in the mind, but I seem to remember 30amp solid core copper was a winner? Certainly dont cost £50pm!!! A bit off the wall, it was put forward first by one of the hifi mags of the time, cant remember which one.

Ah well, the amp has been cooking for the past hour, time to relax spinning some vinyl :grin:

CJSF
 

Sabby

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Jul 22, 2009
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matthewpiano said:
Good points made by CJSF and Sabby, from different perspectives.

I certainly agree with CJSF that often 'better' is actually 'different'. Of course, 'better' is hard to quantify in a universal way because we all have different priorities as to what we want from our systems and our music. Some of us look for exceptional performance in particular areas - bass, for example, or imaging. Others look for a consistent spread of ability across as many areas of performance as possible and find that having exceptional performance in one or two areas throws the other shortfalls of a system into sharp relief. My view is that today's budget equipment starts with a consistently good standard across the board. Then you go into the £500-£1,000 price range and you start to get exceptional performance in some areas of performance but not in others. To some, who value those particular areas that have been tackled exceptionally well, this might be 'better', to the rest of us it could well just be 'different' or even 'not as good'. Once you break over the £1,000 barrier you start to get the exceptionally high standards and consistency in my experience and that is where I would say 'better' might become more universal, if not completely so.

I also agree with Sabby, that wanting to achieve the best possible results with a system is human nature. I'm very much enjoying my system at present but I do still think about ways of eeking the best out of it. I swapped my QED Evolution XT cables out for my Chord Carnival Silverscreen on Friday night and, whilst the difference wasn't night and day overall, the Chord brings the music together in a more cohesive whole. It was a tweak worth making, particularly as I already had the cable. I don't see any problem with little tweaks like this or, indeed, component changes if they lead to what the person or people using the system hear as improvements and translate into greater enjoyment. Where I do think it gets silly is when the music starts to become a vehicle for the hi-fi rather than the other way round, and I also don't ever want to be in the position again where my focus is so firmly on the kit and I forget about large parts of my music collection.
I fully agree with Matthew about tweaking your system. Quite substantial improvements can be made without breaking the bank. There are hundreds of different speaker cables and interconnects out there and you could literally spend the rest of your life just trying different cables. OK that's a bit extreme, but the possibilities are there for experimentation. Similarly a different cartridge or different tubes if you were using a tube amp, all these little tweaks are available to try and get the best possible sound that you can from your system. That's what makes this hobby so facinating, the idea that you can change the way your system sounds, not necessarily always for the better, but certainly different. Now aren't we always looking for something different? ;)
 

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