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whats more important , speakers or amp ???

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Anonymous

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My hearing must be awful then because I love, and am consistently amazed with how good my system sounds.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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davemartin01:The majority of posts are from people wanting to upgrade this, upgrade that, not happy with this, etc etc. To me this says people are just not happy with their original purchases. Is this the case? Or is it something else? Who is to blame? Is it magazines pushing "best buys" or poor salesmen selling mismatching gear? Or are people buying blind from recommendations from forums?

It's a mixture of things, but a lot of people are happy with their purchases initially, and sometimes a new product opens your eyes (or ears) to something you may not have heard before, and it gets you thinking how much better things can get, not just generally, but more within your system.

I'm not saying the odd salesperson isn't repsonsible, but much of it I think is people's eye for bargains, which, when added to their system, either upsets the balance, doesn't work within that specific system, or reveals a weak link in the other part of the system. Hi-fi should never be purchased based on price, or just because it's a bargain.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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bobbyg81: This is all subjective obviously but I think the gap in sound quality between a £200 and £2000 amp is not as great as the difference between speakers of the same price.

This would be because speakers are mostly mechanical.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Regardless of the reasonit is still true though.

In your opinion how much would I need to spend to significantly improve my amplification? Im talkin wow! night and day difference.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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jaxwired: $1k amp + $1k CDP + $10k speakers will sound very close to $10k amp + $10k CDP + $10k speakers

Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree here.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Tarquinh:In every case the expensive speakers will sound better because, let's face it, they are. So why would you want to buy the expensive amp/budget speakers combination? It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Source first I can understand but amp first? No.

They'll initially sound better, but there will be a few areas where the expensive speakers just won't be doing what they should be doing.

I'd rather have cheaper speakers driven properly rather than expensive speakers underdriven. Every time.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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bobbyg81:My hearing must be awful then because I love, and am consistently amazed with how good my system sounds.

Have you heard what the SCM40's are capable of? If all you've heard them on is your own amp, then yes, they'll sound good. But if you hear an amplifier that can bring the speakers to life, it's only then that you'll realise what they're no giving you right now.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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bobbyg81:In your opinion how much would I need to spend to significantly improve my amplification? Im talkin wow! night and day difference.

That depends on what impresses you. Which amplifiers have you heard with the SCM40's so far?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
A few but the 2 ive heard most with them is Cambridge Audio 840. That was horrible and a Lyngdorf SDAI 2175. The lyngdorf was better. But not that much better I would fork out the money for it. I thought it rather sterile. I know I can get an improvement over what I have but I get the impression Id be looking at over £2k rrp?
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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I think the problem is, and anyone who has had demos with them feel free to pipe up and add your own findings, it's very hard to marry up an amp to the SCM40's to get the best from them. It's far easier to find an amp for the 7's, 11's, and 19's, but the 40's are a funny speaker. As much as the 40's are technically better than it's little brothers, it's just not an all rounder, and we have plenty of competition to compare them to. So far, the best match has been ATC's own amps. I've tried a well known £350 50 watter, and the results were far from acceptable.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
ATC amps do seem the way forward.

This just adds to the argument that more expensive amps are not necessarily better. The Lyngdorf at nearly £2k was a bit more 'in your face', but if i didnt know the price Im sure I would have chosen my NAD in a blind testing.
 

smuggs

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Feb 19, 2009
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i looked at 1 amp 1 cd played/dac-magic and then 6 speakers they all casme out with the same sort of sound. Change the the amp and major changes happen but change the source and it becomes anything so i would say yes they all count but a bad source/ good speakers is worse than good source/ bad speakers the amp i found has to tie in with the the 2 i have said and it really is horses for courses.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
Or, a simple conclusion wrongly arrived at?

Never yet heard a poor source sound good on great speakers. If it does, the speakers aren't doing their job, in which case, they're probably not great speakers. My take, incidentally, is that great speakers, like the rest of the kit, shouldn't be adding so much of their own character it impacts on what's coming through from the rest of the electronics. Hence, if they make rubbish sound good, they're ultimately detracting from what's really going on.
 

smuggs

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Feb 19, 2009
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but say you spend £500 on an amp and £700 on a cd player/turntable with say some £350 standmounts that would be better than imo than on going £600 on floorstanders £400 on an amp then using there ps3 or a cheap source yes your speakers/amp look the business but running utube though them is awful were i have hear 2 quad unit cd player/amp £1500 make the MS mezzo2's sound class
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
I don't think 'good', 'worse', 'better' are the proper terms here. I also feel a change of speakers has the biggest impact on the overall sound, but that is because I feel that by their very nature (being mostly mechanical), speakers are more likely to have their own sonic signature. I think that's why I have been excited by new speakers that opened up the sound, only to find that after a couple of weeks I found them lacking in bass or midrange. So I changed back to speakers having more low end grunt, to find that after a while the sound was a bit dull. So it needed opening up... And so forth. I feel that my current speakers, being a bit more expensive than the different ones I had before, do a better compromise (for wont of a better word). But who knows what I make of the sound in a couple of months time.

By the way: I think the same is true for amps, but to a lesser extent. I'm not too sure about sources, because I have the least experience swapping cdp's.

Hope this makes sense.

Jack
 

smuggs

New member
Feb 19, 2009
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of course but in proper terms go and get a cd player £300 and an amp £300 and run 4 pairs of 300 speakers off it and it will be the same to a degree only slight things then swap the cd player for another £300 cd player with the same speakers and boy does the sound change. But its the speakers that people like to change then the amp the source seems to be overlooked so often.
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
1,043
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It depends. My B&W DM301 speakers sounded superb on the end of various amps. All of my headphones sound superb on the end of my X-CANV8P.

That may be because the B&Ws were easy to drive and the X-CANV8P is very powerful for a headphone amp.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
1978:
Try to hook up any speakers from 700 £ up ( for example ) to a HI-FI costing 100 £ and play any CD - then swap the speakers for the ones which come with the stereo..then hook up these cheap speakers to a hi-fi costing 700 £...you'll hear the difference.

Are we talking mini-system type stuff here? And the £100 hi-fi, is that £100 all-in or per item? Or are we talking used kit that costs £100...or brand new, or just a perspective that fits your view?

I mean, if we're talking about the kind of systems that use the equivalent of old cereal packets for the their speakers, I'm not quite so sure I'd like to hear what the rest of the thing sounds like anyway and your argument still doesn't stack up because it's going to be rubbish in, rubbish out. The great speakers won't make the crud sound good. It's still going to sound like crud. Been there, tried it, it doesn't work!

It's all about balance between the three and not subjective references - I've swapped my kit around wholesale this past couple of years and each change made an equal impact. Amp, CD and speakers. The biggest change, arguably, was by moving the speakers around.

Incidentally, the sound quality you get from a £100 DVD player isn't a million miles off a good budget CDP - the transports are fine, the DACs are mass produced and are often found on more expensive players, so it's an easy position to adopt that putting a cheap hifi onto pricey speakers will sound good, but great hifi on rubbish speakers won't. Misses the point entirely I think. It's way harder to make great speakers for little outlay, barring a few models that spring to mind (Roth, Q Acoustics), as design compromises on the speaker will be more readily apparent.
 

smuggs

New member
Feb 19, 2009
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1978 very ture turntable is all i can listen to now you get that live/warm solid feel which even on my battered £75 1995 tdl bookshelfs sounds mint. Where if i spun my ps3 or a lower model ca cd player it would be awful.
 

WishTree

Well-known member
May 18, 2010
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18,595
Here is what I have experienced..

The goodness' of the system is what sensitivity we are capable of perceiving individually..

Speakers - As an example, Let us say, David is capable of differentiating a 2000 Pound speaker from a 5000 Pound but personally I tried and I can not differentiate between the two. For me, I have already reached my individual bottleneck on the speaker differentiation (as of June 2010).. I travelled from302 to 686 to 685 to 602.5 to 683 to CM7 of B&W. I tried reaching more and checked out CM9 and 800 series with the same amp, I can only hear difference because some one tells me it is an 800 series but in my head it plays more or less the same.

Amps - I have heard Denon AVR 1910 / 2310 / 3310 / 4310 and found almost minimal difference between 1910 and 2310 at my home. The other two were in the demo and different speakers / different source so can't say much but SQ wise they are for sure diminishing returns (focourse I might upgrade to one of them or newer versions because of the features they offer). Integrating stereo amp into home cinema is awesome thing. Heard Pm6003, 7003 and 8003 in stereo mode (using them as integrated) and for me 7003 is value for me as I can not tell the difference between 7003 and 8003. Infact I have never gone more than 30% on my 7003 and it already feels loud!! As some one is pointing out, I might not be able to tell the amp differences in a few hour auditioning. My hope is that I still have some sensitivity that I can exhaust on amps and I will keep experimenting till the time I stop hearing differences. I still need to try the PM15s2 and 11S2

Source - This I feel does not need much time to know the difference. I can differentiate between 320KBPS MP3 to 800 KBPS where as between 800 KBPS to 1600 is KBPS not much of a difference to me. I still cant tell between 16 bit & 24 bit (or may be my setup cant even differentiate between them)

I guess our ears keep improving our sensitivity as we keep listening to stuff. I just got the hang of this hobby so I am finding my own path with all your valuable comments and snippets of tips.. I just started this and I hope to stick for many years to come by I am in no hurry.. I have just hand picked few of the brands that I like (Denon, Marantz, B&W). Till I am exhausted with these brands I will keep trying them and later will shift to some more hand picked brands (like Naim, Arcam, MA).. The best part is I am throughly enjoying this journey!!!
 

stereoman

Well-known member
Mar 22, 2016
144
13
4,595
It's only one answer - SPEAKERS. Get the wrong ones and all your system is packed up. No matter how expensive. It's truly only one component. I'm 99.9% convinced in this. All starts with loudpeakers.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
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stereoman said:
It's only one answer - SPEAKERS. Get the wrong ones and all your system is packed up. No matter how expensive. It's truly only one component. I'm 99.9% convinced in this. All starts with loudpeakers.
Nothing has changed in this regard since 2010. Agreed!
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
613
380
19,270
stereoman said:
It's only one answer - SPEAKERS. Get the wrong ones and all your system is packed up. No matter how expensive. It's truly only one component. I'm 99.9% convinced in this. All starts with loudpeakers.
Except that it ends with the speakers, as they are the last in the chain! And this thread is many years old!
 

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