Component contribution to sound

RoA

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Feb 11, 2021
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This is how I would assess the different main links in the chain to contribute to sound in my systems. Feel free to disagree ... which will almost certainly happen!

Source Digital/DAC - 15%

Amplifier - 25%

Speakers - 40%

Room - 15%

Cables - 5%

Ear syringing, grid condition, mental wellbeing etc etc not taken into account. Add/delete at your pleasure ...
 
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matthewpianist

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Feb 18, 2022
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I'd apportion at least 30% to the room, probably by reducing the speakers to 35%, the amplifier to 20% and the source to 10%.

The speaker/room interaction is the thing that can most easily make or break a system, and it's only when you get that right that improvements further up the chain really show themselves.
 

robdmarsh

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I'm sure there is a lot of truth in Matt's comment but it's really the hardest one to do anything about. Most music lovers will not have the ideally proportioned rooms at home and will not be able to get the speaker placement right relative to all interfering boundaries. Then there's room treatments: acoustic panels? C'mon, get real!
We work with what we've got and sometimes we get pretty amazing results with pretty unpromising environments. I think that's what I've got.
 

WayneKerr

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Jan 21, 2022
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Agree with both Matthew and Rob. Always heavily room dependant and also in the ears of the beholder dependant. Sealed box speakers cured bass boom in my lounge, (speakers are in a far from ideal position, but this is where they must go). Change of amp and CDP two-years ago was a huge step forward in sound for me, speaker purchase came shortly afterwards.
 
Agree with both Matthew and Rob. Always heavily room dependant and also in the ears of the beholder dependant. Sealed box speakers cured bass boom in my lounge, (speakers are in a far from ideal position, but this is where they must go). Change of amp and CDP two-years ago was a huge step forward in sound for me, speaker purchase came shortly afterwards.
I'd agree that infinite baffle speakers can cure many an issue when it comes to placement and also believe that if you are having to shell out more on room treatment than you spent on your speakers then you're trying to set up your hifi in the wrong room!....
 
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WayneKerr

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I'd agree that infinite baffle speakers can cure many an issue when it comes to placement and also believe that if you are having to shell out more on room treatment than you spent on your speakers then you're trying to set up your hifiw in the wrong room!....
:ROFLMAO: Nicely put, Al... made me laugh.
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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The room is the biggest influence.
The Speakers are next.
The amp will depend on cost and quality, if its high end with beefy power supply and output stages then its effect is minimal to none, however if it is built to a price where compromises have to be made then this would be next.
Sources not so great these days as even cheaper ones can give fantastic results, (Assuming the designer knows what he is doing) the law of diminishing returns comes in quickly with these.
Good quality stands would be next. (Particularly for speakers)
Cables are last, as providing you have them then and so long as it’s not bell wire they will make no difference to the sound. (In most cases Amazon Basics is all you need)

Bill
 

podknocker

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Feb 5, 2021
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The room is the biggest influence.
The Speakers are next.
The amp will depend on cost and quality, if its high end with beefy power supply and output stages then its effect is minimal to none, however if it is built to a price where compromises have to be made then this would be next.
Sources not so great these days as even cheaper ones can give fantastic results, (Assuming the designer knows what he is doing) the law of diminishing returns comes in quickly with these.
Good quality stands would be next. (Particularly for speakers)
Cables are last, as providing you have them then and so long as it’s not bell wire they will make no difference to the sound. (In most cases Amazon Basics is all you need)

Bill
I think that's bang on. The size and shape of the room is the biggest influence, in my opinion. The types of furnishings and decor, absorbing, or reflecting the sound is so important. If you have heavy, thick curtains and drapes, soft sofas and thick carpets, with lots of books on shelves, then that's going to give you a really dead and bass forward sound. Having no curtains/drapes and next to no furniture and hard flooring, will give you that bright sound, with lots of echo, similar to when you first move into somewhere and there's nothing to control the treble. You could have a good demo, in the shop, but getting that in your listening room, is another matter.
 

Gonepostal

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There is a quote by an old football manager called Bill Shankly.......'Football is a simple game complicated by idiots'....

I'm often reminded of this when reading music forums. For me all you need to do is find a pair of speakers that work in your room, then buy any amp that has the guts to drive the speakers and has the features you need.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
There is a saying along these lines:- the speakers affect the sound the most, but the source affects the music the most.

It’s easy to hear how speakers affect the sound, but if the source isn’t as good as it can be then the speakers can’t recreate sounds you don’t extract from your CD, LP or streaming.

Of course it’s a circular argument and the room can have a significantly detrimental effect. I’ve often been surprised how good modest speakers can sound when there’s a great source and amplifier to drive them.
 
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twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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For me


Source Digital/DAC - 5%

Amplifier - 15%

Speakers - 20%

Room - 60%

Cables - 0%

The room is the largest source of sound and what you hear is completely governed by it and will make any system sound different in any given room, everything else’s is just a seasoning.

to truly just hear a system you need a heavily damped room like that used by the what hi fi review teams
 

nickcornwall

Active member
Nov 24, 2022
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There is a saying along these lines:- the speakers affect the sound the most, but the source affects the music the most.

It’s easy to hear how speakers affect the sound, but if the source isn’t as good as it can be then the speakers can’t recreate sounds you don’t extract from your CD, LP or streaming.

Of course it’s a circular argument and the room can have a significantly detrimental effect. I’ve often been surprised how good modest speakers can sound when there’s a great source and amplifier to drive them.
Absolutely agree - you can have the most amazing equipment down the line but if the information is not being accurately extracted at source then you will never get it back. Equally cabling - high quality equipment contains high quality wiring - so if you have bad interconnects and cables you might as well have a bad amp. So for me (vinyl):

source 30
amps 25
Speakers 30
Cables and interconnects 15

haven’t included room in mine - can’t do much to change it - just get the right speakers for it
 

matthewpianist

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Feb 18, 2022
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I'm sure there is a lot of truth in Matt's comment but it's really the hardest one to do anything about. Most music lovers will not have the ideally proportioned rooms at home and will not be able to get the speaker placement right relative to all interfering boundaries. Then there's room treatments: acoustic panels? C'mon, get real!
We work with what we've got and sometimes we get pretty amazing results with pretty unpromising environments. I think that's what I've got.
I'm with you there Rob. My room conditions are far from ideal and I certainly don't have the financial or practical means for 'ideal' system set-up. The images and advice in some magazine reviews, and on manufacturer websites, represent something unachievable for most of us. My thoughts are more about choosing the right speakers for the space you have, making the room and getting the most of the situation within a budget the first priority.
 
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robdmarsh

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I'm with you there Rob. My room conditions are far from ideal and I certainly don't have the financial or practical means for 'ideal' system set-up. The images and advice in some magazine reviews, and on manufacturer websites, represent something unachievable for most of us. My thoughts are more about choosing the right speakers for the space you have, making the room and getting the most of the situation within a budget the first priority.
I know you had Dali Oberon 5, this is an attractive floor stander cos it's so dinky. How did it perform in your system?
 

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