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This is the most important factor

alwaysbeblue1

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Oct 4, 2015
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Amp and Cd players make small differences the more you spend and you have to spend a lot to hear a difference.

Speakers make a difference and mostly make a sound that you prefer as in bass, high frequencies and neutral sounding, but definitely hear a difference here.

Yes the room makes a difference, but most can only make small tweaks that again make small differences.

To me it is simply recording quality.
A well recorded Cd for example sounds great even on a cheap hi fi, while a bad quality can often sound worse on a good hi fi.

Would you agree
 

davedotco

New member
Apr 24, 2013
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Is the most important factor bar none.

Firstly you need to understand what you actually expect from your system, then you then need to work out what is and is not possible.

The technical stuff comes second, very much so. So many of the important factors are simply ignored in the rush for the latest amp, speaker, whatever, it is all just bling.

Enthusiast shows, Scalford for example, often feature systems made up of inexpensive used, often vintage equipment, some of which sound spectacular.

There is no trick, just decent components, age irrelevant, well matched and properly set up by someone who understands what to expect and how to get it.
 

TomSawyer

New member
Apr 17, 2016
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I agree. Rubbish in - rubbish out as they say. Hifi canot add detail that isn't there, it can only detract and so we're loking for the least detriment to the sound we can I guess.

But as we have no control over the recording quality but we can (note I don't say do because I've heard some expensive stinkers of systems) have some control over how much our system degrades the sound, that's where we focus our efforts.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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18,670
Definitely a good source is critical, and that begins with the recording.

For me, speakers change the 'flavour' or 'colour' of the music in obvious ways. But the amp and source affect the focus and detail. Hence, different speakers are obviously different in a way electronics aren't to some folks. Then, once you know what a better turntable or CDP sounds like, and a better amplifier, it is hard to live without it. After that, modest speakers can be surprisingly satisfying as long as the source is excellent.
 

Benedict_Arnold

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Jan 16, 2013
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So I would say yes, the source material is vital, and yes, rubbish in equals rubbish out, but at the same time hooking up a $20,000 pair of speakers to the stereo you got from Argos is going to be just as disappointing, comparatively, as hooking up your $100,000 stereo system to a pair of old speakers from the charity shoppe, or using doorbell wire to connect them.

Once you actually hear the level of extra detail a good (probably meaning expensive) hi-fi can extract from a good source, it's hard to go back.

As for CD or other source mixing, well, you're in the hands of the producers there. Some great bands like Rush, REM, and others, dropped major ball-cocks in the naughties when they tried releasing CDs mixed for the mp3 generation. They sounded awful on "proper" hi-fi and lost them a lot of fans and sales.
 

NSA_watch_my_toilet

New member
Aug 24, 2013
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Without making fun, you are missing the point. A good record will sound good even on cheap hifi. And there is a connection that comes to live during the listening of a song we like. But it will be impossible to make it sound anything near the original recording material with cr@ppy speakers in a sh#tty room. That the result could already be pleasing is depending of personal tastes, but that the result will be good is impossible.
 

Snooker

Well-known member
Aug 5, 2011
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Yes I totally agree and have raised this exact point on this forum myself a while back

Also I agree that you have to spend much more to notice an improvement on your existing system and also feel that after spending say around £2000 on a complete system that you only get a small improvement from this point onwards getting smaller and smaller

I have the Denon Ceol N8 with Dali Zensors and Sennheiser Headphones and am very happy with the sound quality and even at this price £600 it sounds excellent really
 

Benedict_Arnold

New member
Jan 16, 2013
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I'm not sure that you're not missing the point.

A great record, whatever you're definition of great is, can sound great on a cheap stereo from Argos played on speakers pulled out of a skip connected with doorbell wire, but the chances are it will sound better, much better, on a really good stereo.

Likewise, if a particular recording sets your teeth on edge worse than chewing down on aluminium foil on your mercury fillings, playing it back on the best stereo on the planet isn't going to help.

Of course, the laws of diminishing returns still apply, and whether the weakest link is the source, the electronics, the speakers, the room or the wires, the weakest link will remain the weakest link.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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alwaysbeblue1 said:
Amp and Cd players make small differences the more you spend and you have to spend a lot to hear a difference.

Speakers make a difference and mostly make a sound that you prefer as in bass, high frequencies and neutral sounding, but definitely hear a difference here.
Speakers can make the most noticeable difference to our ears, but what you can/will get from the speaker will depend on what you put into it - rubbish in, rubbish out. It's no good having very high quality speakers if the accompanying amplifier isn't in total control of them, isn't able to produce the current they require, or just isn't capable of producing the quality the speakers are capable of.

Yes the room makes a difference, but most can only make small tweaks that again make small differences.
A room will affect the end result. Generally, in a room we are familiar with, our brains/ears tend to tune out many of the issues, or we become accustomed to them. Having said that, a room won't make or break a system - a good quality system will sound good in any room, and better than a lesser quality system.

To me it is simply recording quality. A well recorded Cd for example sounds great even on a cheap hi fi, while a bad quality can often sound worse on a good hi fi.
Recording quality will ultimately govern what your system will be capable of, but I disagree that a bad quality album will sound worse on a better hi-fi. Many albums that are perceived to be low quality or bad quality, aren't. When played on a system that can make the most of what is actually on the disc, they tend to sound much better.

As far as any system is concerned, source is still king, regardless of format.
 
Feb 18, 2015
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Is there any hope for my frightened rabbit albums...they sound garbage on whatever I play them on...such a shame as I love the music....just wish they'd pay a bit more attention to the production....oh they did...it's just that's how they wanted them to sound...twats!

Sorry,think I might have gone off topic but having a wee rant over a couple of beers.lol.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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Mark Rose-Smith said:
Is there any hope for my frightened rabbit albums...they sound garbage on whatever I play them on...such a shame as I love the music....just wish they'd pay a bit more attention to the production....oh they did...it's just that's how they wanted them to sound...twats!

Sorry,think I might have gone off topic but having a wee rant over a couple of beers.lol.
http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/news/latest-news/frightened-rabbit-new-album-no-one-knew-what-the-****-was-going-to-happen

Maybe email is not the best way to make a record.
 

bluedroog

New member
Mar 4, 2010
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Source is vital, it is more a case that digital audio is amature technology now and we have come to expect a competent source at a modest cost. Source is no less important now, it is just taken more as a given. Gains can still be had of course.

There are no rules. Rooms are vital but the typical living room with rugs, sofas, book shelves, heavy curtains etc, while not ideal are not cuasing havoc compared to say a minimal glass box of a room. Suddenly room is without question the biggest factor but what is taken as a standard starting point.

As a componenet speakers seem the obvious choice as the key item but again that is assuming a least a competent source and then amp is capable of driving them. You can have mega expensive sensitive horn speakers cost tens of thousands sound pretty impressive with a £50 digital amp, likewise you could use the same amp on a more modest pair of sealed book shelf speakers with very low sensitivity and it sounds awful, broken even.

The key is understand how each element relates to one another because it depends on the context and assumptions.
 

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