More 'Audiophile' bullsh*t.

More 'Audiophile' bullsh*t.

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Discussion

toxicnerve

22,366 posts

127 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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custodian said:
Why would I want to spend my time doing that?

If that is the way you want to choose, it's up to you. I'm sure you will end up with a very low noise, low distortion,system.

For me, my ears work pretty well as the selection tool.
You're getting the wrong end of the stick. If you can hear the difference and that is enough for you then that's fine.

I'm saying before someone tries to sell me something for ££££££s I want to know what is their kit is supposed to do (other than just make my setup "better") and how much of a difference it actually makes.

Countdown said:
If your ears can tell the difference, would it not be possible to show the difference on measuring equipment?

ETA something feels hot or cold - can be proven by a thermometer. Something sounds loud/quiet, again can be measured.

Why can't sound waveform distortion be quantified ?

Edited by Countdown on Saturday 5th January 13:50
Precisely.

TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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May I just leave this here. (I think it conveys where this thread is headed!!)





ETA: Found a better meme smile

Edited by TonyRPH on Saturday 5th January 14:01

RedLeicester

6,869 posts

195 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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0a said:
The biggest BS surrounds digital sources. I used to use a £12 CD player to feed a DAC that listed at £3k (I didn't pay that though, and through sensible buying and selling I made a profit on it!), various friends were surprised when they couldn't detect a difference with the £12 CD player and many thousand pound "dedicated transport" another friend had when played via digital outputs in to the same DAC. Well dur...
That's quite worrying. The key to understanding is the 'A' in DAC...

The_Burg said:
In theory digital sources are pretty much identical as many have said a PC can't work if there is any error yet when i changed the soundcard in my Vortexbox source the difference was truly amazing, going from an onboard to a dedicated one, nothing special £50 job, this using the same DAC etc this was the only change.
Digital sources are nothing if not NONidentical. We've been here before.

custodian said:
Bought Finite Elemente stands, result significant improvement (to an all digital system). Why?
Because no system is all digital. Unless you've invented something astonishing that you're about to unleash upon a salivating world. Or we're in The Matrix and no one told me. I'll have Trinity please, paws off, I saw her first.


toxicnerve said:
I work in high-end Home Automation (which includes AV), so I've seen various systems at pretty much ALL price-points (including Mega-Yacht systems). Oddly enough some of the most expensive setups sounded the worst to me and the more modest ones sounded the best.
You know better than most TN that above a certain price point, the environment and the room has all the more influence than any gear you can throw at it - a yacht like a car is a bugger of a place to set up properly, and no amount of silly money gear will help. Also there's a frightening amount of gear which is priced to be expensive whilst basically sounding dire, but more often than not was purchased based upon the price and percieved quality... A shame, but such is life.

TonyRPH

Original Poster:

10,136 posts

118 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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custodian said:
Tony, thanks for yet another off topic post. Do you ever put your head above the parapet and post something relevant?
Bottom post on page 1, two posts on page2.

I don't see the problem with bringing a little humour to (my own) thread?



Driller

7,232 posts

228 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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I always think it's a necessary breath of fresh air when Tony flexes his sense of humour during these discussions smile

Certainly prevents brain meltdown which would otherwise occur with relentless superiority complex hi-fi cable drivel.

Globs

13,623 posts

181 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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If a power conditioner has any effect it's because your amplifier is too crappy and you need a new one.
Luckily for £1500 you should be able to buy a decent tube one from Icon Audio.

FlossyThePig

3,979 posts

193 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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custodian said:
Sure, room is key part of system. Some excellent room treatments available these days.
I remember my father telling me of a book he read on hi-fi when microgroove records were the latest thing, with mono sound.

Part of setting up a system was to take sound measurements at different frequencies and adjust the furnishings to make the room as neutral as possible.

Things were so much simpler then. One turntable, one pre-amp, one amp and one speaker.

Globs

13,623 posts

181 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
quotequote all
custodian said:
Globs said:
If a power conditioner has any effect it's because your amplifier is too crappy and you need a new one.
Luckily for £1500 you should be able to buy a decent tube one from Icon Audio.
You do talk b****x
Which parts do you disagree with, and why?

Adrian W

11,360 posts

178 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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Globs said:
If a power conditioner has any effect it's because your amplifier is too crappy and you need a new one.
Luckily for £1500 you should be able to buy a decent tube one from Icon Audio.
Why do you think mains power supplies for all sort of applications can cost tens of thousands, that statement is complete tosh

Globs

13,623 posts

181 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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Adrian W said:
Globs said:
If a power conditioner has any effect it's because your amplifier is too crappy and you need a new one.
Luckily for £1500 you should be able to buy a decent tube one from Icon Audio.
Why do you think mains power supplies for all sort of applications can cost tens of thousands, that statement is complete tosh
Well at least you are not swearing at me like the boy custodian wink

You have run two sentenced into one line that I do not understand.

"Why do you think mains power supplies for all sort of applications can cost tens of thousands?"
Power supply cost is related to labour (development spend), parts cost and profit.
For instance Dungeness was very expensive.
I'm not really getting the relevance of the question to audio - sorry.

"that statement is complete tosh"
What statement is tosh?

Globs

13,623 posts

181 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
quotequote all
custodian said:
Globs said:
Which parts do you disagree with, and why?
I recently upgraded from Pass Labs x1000 mono blocks to Halcro DM88 mono blocks. Both are improved by a decent power conditioner.

Icon Audio make a solid basic valve amp which I know well. If you believe it would be an improvement, you are deaf.
Well you didn't answer the question but you have stopped swearing which is nice. Well done.
If your DM88s are improved by a power conditioner then obviously the PSUs in them are not good enough. How is that a strange concept? Did you think that names and money are any influence to the laws of physics? The electrons can't read the label on the front of your amp.

In general tube amps have much better power supplies.

Countdown

25,560 posts

146 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
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custodian said:
I recently upgraded from Pass Labs x1000 mono blocks to Halcro DM88 mono blocks. Both are improved by a decent power conditioner.
"Improved" suggests a different sound. Can you actually use an oscilloscope (or whatever) to see the difference in sound?

custodian said:
Icon Audio make a solid basic valve amp which I know well. If you believe it would be an improvement, you are deaf.
Isn't sound also a personal preference thing? An improvement to you might not be an improvement to others?


Globs

13,623 posts

181 months

Saturday 5th January 2013
quotequote all
Yes, sound is a personal thing.

The Halcros have large PSUs built in, but at the end of the day they appear to be class B transistor amps with a certain about of localised feedback and a correction stage at the back end, which people reckon has an issue with frequency response interactions. I.e. it starts compensating for FR (as would global negative feedback) rather than correcting the signal. It does use FETs for output but these are the least audible transistors as they will just be followers. With an amazingly low THD distortion level (even lower than the Usher R1.5) I suspect quite a bit of feedback.

Whether it's any good or not I'm not sure, just having a decent PSU would boost most cheap transistor B amps into a better sound.
The triode however, especially the directly heated cathode (DHT) variants are still IIRC the most linear amplifying devices known to man and so remains the favourite hifi device - remember feedback only works 'as advertised' on a linear system, the popular usage of it to iron out non-linearities is I think a large reason why many amps fail to satisfy.

Then there is the philosphical question of question of what the amp actually does - many amps try to involve the whole amp in the speaker movements, whereas in general a tube amp allows a speaker to listen to the amp. I run a class A single ended tube amp, the Class A means that the amp is always drawing about the same power, which means the PSU doesn't really matter too much - in a class B 100% of the music current travels around the PSU so it's very important.

I remember trying to tell the difference between expensive power conditioners and nothing at a hi-fi show. The salesman kept telling us the differences which was just as well as neither me or my mate could tell the slightest difference.

At the end of the day however the shocking state of piss poor CD mastering generally has a far bigger effect on the sound, purists worrying about the imaginary nuances would be shocked if they saw the waveforms coming off CDs into their futile-ly expensive CD players and DACs.

And then the biggest effect on the sound? Some people say room acoustics but I reckon not, I think the biggest effect on the sound is the mood you are in wink

0a

21,711 posts

144 months

Sunday 6th January 2013
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Globs said:
I think the biggest effect on the sound is the mood you are in wink
Amen...

0a

21,711 posts

144 months

Sunday 6th January 2013
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The_Burg said:
HiFi is a bit weird, everything pretty much is subjective.
True, but when a friend says "OMG this bit of kit has changed my world" (eg a new transport into a DAC) and you ask him to name this brilliant transport over 20 tracks blindfold and he gets it right half the time...

0a

21,711 posts

144 months

Sunday 6th January 2013
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In addition: if you house your Hifi in a flat in London - the biggest upgrade is to move to a proper room.

I have many friends who have an amusing (£20k) amount of Hifi that sounds rubbish compared to my second system (less than £500) because they have to be delicate with the volume.

Funk

21,071 posts

159 months

Sunday 6th January 2013
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You'd be pissed to discover your $3,500 Lexicon Bluray player was, in fact a $500 Oppo inside. And I mean LITERALLY inside.

http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/transports/high...

Here's the kicker; the Lexicon is THX-certified and the Oppo is not - because it doesn't meet the standards. So how does that player suddenly meet those 'exacting standards' when it's dropped into a $3,000 case? Someone's lying...

Oh, and a reviewer gets comprehensively 'owned' and still can't admit defeat even in the face of overwhelming proof that there is absolutely NO difference between the two players AT ALL. It's cringe-worthy. Any credibility he ever had as a hi-fi reviewer went out the window in one article.

http://hometheaterreview.com/lexicon-bd-30-univers...

Ken Tarazaka said:
I am sure people will attack this player as a "rebadged" Oppo, so I went out and bought an Oppo BD-83 SE in order to fairly compare the two. First off, there is no comparison between the build quality of the two players. The Oppo is lighter and the buttons have a far less solid feel to them. The Lexicon is a taller, much heftier unit. Black levels were close, but the Lexicon had a more natural contrast and color palette than the Oppo. More importantly, the Lexicon was nearly totally silent when loading discs and changing tracks. Those familiar with the Oppo know it is a rather noisy player when loading discs, switching tracks and scanning, even sometimes for no apparent reason. The drive is in the Oppo is noisy enough to catch my attention during quiet passages in movies, while the Lexicon is inaudible during use at all times.
$3,000 quieter?

Edited by Funk on Sunday 6th January 02:32

Los Endos

309 posts

89 months

Sunday 6th January 2013
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I'm sorry I'm with Globs here.......
But let me make a more general point about top end HiFi, there seems to be some confusion about the logic of the argument, most improvements can be heard by almost everyone, however most people would not spend £300 on an IC, even though they could hear the change.
We seem to be getting value and difference in sound confused.

Let me use the car analogy, you can remap your engine, change the exhaust and finally change the induction, it will cost you £1200, but actually if you spend £200 on driver training you will go a lt faster !
None of the car changes are 'snake oil' but until you are trained they will make only small differences to you lap times.

Back to Hi Fi - once you have the basics right, solid place to store your boxes, spiked speakers, good source, enough soft furnishings to make the room acoustics good, then you can move on more modest improvements, better InterConnects for example.
I used to use Linn Blacks, great IC, then I heard Linn Silvers, they are just awesome on my system, worth £300 a pop ?
To most people no, to me yes ( plus I picked some up 2nd hand ).

Lambo vs Ferrari ?
Linn vs Naim ?
Lotus vs TVR ?
Vinyl vs FLAC Digital ?

All are great, they are all personal preference, non are 'snake oil' they offer something different above Ford, Vauxhall, Sony and LG.......

StuH

2,546 posts

223 months

Sunday 6th January 2013
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I used to be a strong believer in freedom of speech, but with the advent of internet forums I'm not so sure anymore. These forums just seem to attract the "keyboard warrior" types who troll into discussions on topics they have little or no knowledge off, yet expect their "opinion" to have some value.

Custodian stated earlier in the thread that he was using mains conditioners with his absolutely superb high-end system. A system that, like most of this quality, has probably evolved to this point over many years of working through umpteen combinations of equipment at significant cost. The law of diminishing returns hits fairly early with hi-fi gear imo, however, for those of us audiophiles seeking the absolute best audio performance it's a price worth paying because its the sharp end of that curve that allow the music to come alive and make the hairs on the back of your next stand up. I fully accept that for most people the sweet-spot for price/performance comes much earlier, but what I fail to understand is that given you've never heard his system ,you can in any way offer an opinion on whether him spending his OWN money on his OWN system has any value. Talk about sanctimonious.

Musical reproduction is certainly subjective but when I read comments like a basic Icon Audio amp (I've heard several Icon amps and they're good solid mid-fi amps), built to to a tight budget is somehow better in any way to Halcro monoblocks, I just have to shake my head in despair at the ignorance of the post. Particularly given the speaker load they are required to drive. Or that you have to move to a house from a flat otherwise a £500 systems will easily outperform £20k ones? Sorry, but the best acoustic environment I've ever had was my top floor flat with vaulted ceilings, whereas my current house in the sticks has terrible acoustics. Or that DACs make no difference, or that a £12 CD player is a perfectly good transport for a £3k DAC then I know that the poster has no experience or knowledge of what they're talking about.

Perhaps we should start using the "custard" rules on this forum, so that in order to start posting opinions on a bit of kit you can show you actually own something of a comparable standard.

For the record I'm something of a sceptic on the role of conditioners, cables and the like, and much more of an advocate for acoustic treatments, and synergy of system components, but if someone else believes that a quantum entanglement crystal improves the quality of THEIR system in THEIR environment who am i to argue without having heard it myself?

dundarach

2,053 posts

178 months

Sunday 6th January 2013
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The important things to note here are indeed:

Keyboard warriors
Idiots
Personal choice and listening experience

:-)