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Hifi/audio myths

dannnielll

Well-known Member
In an ideal world yes. Mine are not. My right has a half metre more. The longer the run to one or other then there may be a very very slight delay, almost imperceivable. If room correction is available then there is no problem at all.
God bless your sonic perception if the delay of 1.5nS between both speaker cones moving is only almost imperceptible. Me I'm only good to a millisecond,on a good day. Must be some Welsh magic
 

gibbsy

Moderator
God bless your sonic perception if the delay of 1.5nS between both speaker cones moving is only almost imperceptible. Me I'm only good to a millisecond,on a good day. Must be some Welsh magic
I was expanding my answer. A nanosecond is a life time to some. A sound coming from the west when I'm facing north will reach me left ear first. It's not until it passes me and is heading east that my right ear will hear it. However if it is travelling at a supersonic speed then my right ear will hear it first and my left ear will not hear it at all unless I turn around and face south.

Let's not forget the What HiFi uses the best of speaker cable, none of your VDB and that nanosecond is going to be very pronounced. My reply was a little more tongue in cheek in keeping with the tone of the thread which is getting far too technical for a 'fun item'.:lesson:
 

Maxson

Active Member
For Maxson: it is a complete myth to say that all modern solid state amplifiers sound the same. They don't. I'm sure you could find two or more solid state amplifiers that sound, near as dammit identical.
Yes I did find that when I did A/B tests with the volume equalised and both amps below clipping. They sounded exactly the same.

Also whoever you quoted, Maxson, about valve amplifiers having "pleasant" distortion is over simplifying the situation. Good SET's sound like they have less distortion in the midrange than every solid state amplifier I've compared them against.
Yes I possibly have simplified things as we're not talking in an electronics engineers forum and your SET amp probably does have distortion below audible levels in the mid range. I think it's highly likely that your system sounds excellent as well.

This is not something that anyone can settle by reading about it. Go out and compare a good SET against good solid state with valve friendly speakers and make up your own minds.
I'm note sure many of us have access to such equipment. If I was in the market for such speakers I would be sure to do some tests of my own.

Anyway this was supposed to be a fun thread and I think we should spend more time enjoying music and less time fretting about it! :)
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
And even more startling, in a blackout, they all have the same colour !
 

Spyro

Active Member
Yeah, I chuckled to myself the first time I saw stones advertised that you place on or near your hifi to improve the sound. The text in the ad could be read as very technical and plausible. In reality the only real way those stones would noticeably affect how the music sounds is if they were positioned very near your eardrums. I've had a stone in my ear as a kid and it wasn't nice!
Stones are so last year. You need holographic dolphins to really tune up your gear!
Ahttps://highend-electronics.com/products/albat-cd-dac-tuning-chip
 

deantown

Distinguished Member
What model is it?
Marantz cd6005 and Marantz pm6005 with Wharfedale Diamond 220 speakers. I love the sound from it, quiet or loud. I don’t think I have had it above 11.00 o’clock on the Volume and it easily fills the room.
 

bobel

Novice Member
Marantz cd6005 and Marantz pm6005 with Wharfedale Diamond 220 speakers. I love the sound from it, quiet or loud. I don’t think I have had it above 11.00 o’clock on the Volume and it easily fills the room.
Marantz are great! Thinking about getting the new MCR612 and keep my Zensor 1.
 

enjdee

Standard Member
Marantz are great! Thinking about getting the new MCR612 and keep my Zensor 1.
We have the older Marantz MCR611 in our kitchen, running with my Linn Komponent 104 speakers, and it's mighty impressive - very solid, detailed, and powerful. I actually feel it beats the Linn Sneaky it replaced, and drives the Linn 104s incredibly well (and it's far more convenient to use, too)! Of course, I'm assuming that's because of the different-sounding amplifers it uses (sorry Maxson!🤣🤣🤣).
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
There are plenty of ways amplifier makers engineer their own sound into products, be that through introducing distortion (Atoll, John Shearne, an old name of which I owned the Integrated), increasing separation and lowering noise floor thus increasing dynamic range (Audiolab, Bryston to name only two), the opposite (Rega's venerable Brio which has a relatively high noise floor and poor separation ... deliberatly), increasing or decreasing output impedance affecting different speakers at different frequencies, big power supplies and/or clever feedback engineering (Hegel) that exerts control over difficult speakers ...

The list goes on. Each one affecting sound in an audible way.

The 'ole blind test argument perhaps applies to on paper very similar engineered products.

Not relevant in the real world.

Different amps can make a huge difference and you dont need to be an Audiophile or obsessive to hear it.
Except you're not right.

But lets address it. Even if I were to accept what you say is true the amps you're talking about would be
  1. Not transparent
  2. Changing the sound on purpose (and arguably the source intent)
  3. Measurably different
The point is the general goal most people (and amp manufacturers these days) aspire to is to be completely transparent and to as accurately as possible replicate the intent of the original producer/mastering. As someone else mentioned, the industry has generally moved away from a "signature sound" if it ever really existed at all. In fact many manufacturers now proudly boast that as part of their marketing. Simplistically, what you're basically saying is that certain amp manufacturers are taking a transparent amp and applying eq. If that's what you're wanting to achieve then it's something you can achieve for considerably less.

Back to the reality though, while what you're saying is conventional wisdom, no double blind test has managed to prove it. Ever. There have even been blind tests that tested a $10k+(or was it $100k) boutique amp against a $100 rubbish amp and in a double blind test, no one could tell the difference. I know and appreciate you think you can tell the difference but the truth is, you almost certainly can't as no one else can.

No amount of discussion or evidence is ever going to convince you or anyone else otherwise (if you want more in depth evidence go have a read of my posts on the link I put above) and there's a lot of other reasons to buy a more expensive amp (aesthetics, room eq etc.) but if your only goal is to get a transparent representation of the original producers intent, you can do that for a few hundred £. If you want a specific sound, that can be done with a decent EQ for a few hundred more. It's not magic or mystical despite the expensive amp manufacturers spending millions trying to convince you otherwise.

G
 

Chinstroke

Active Member
I remember when I got my first Hi-Fi system in 1995 buying into the What HiFi mumbo Jumbo that better quality interconnects (read more expensive) would make a huge difference to the sound. However when I finally replaced the cheap patch leads with £50 interconnects I couldn't hear the blindest bit of difference.

Conversely changing the speakers made a huge impact on the sound. Instead of spending £1000's on cables and mystical dodats that money is better spent on other stuff. Just as an aside I'm always amazed at how audiophiles on places like youtube seem to give no consideration to the actual room and speaker placement when this has a bigger impact on sound
 

musicphil

Active Member
To be fair regarding equipment stands - Back in the olden days when most had a turntable if you didnt purchase a dedicated wall shelf, you had a rack system each shelf spiked mainly a metal stand by companies like Sound Organisation or Target. These were for islolating floor vibrations for the suspended Turntables. So there was genuine use for them back then.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Except you're not right.

But lets address it. Even if I were to accept what you say is true the amps you're talking about would be
  1. Not transparent
  2. Changing the sound on purpose (and arguably the source intent)
  3. Measurably different
The point is the general goal most people (and amp manufacturers these days) aspire to is to be completely transparent and to as accurately as possible replicate the intent of the original producer/mastering. As someone else mentioned, the industry has generally moved away from a "signature sound" if it ever really existed at all. In fact many manufacturers now proudly boast that as part of their marketing. Simplistically, what you're basically saying is that certain amp manufacturers are taking a transparent amp and applying eq. If that's what you're wanting to achieve then it's something you can achieve for considerably less.

Back to the reality though, while what you're saying is conventional wisdom, no double blind test has managed to prove it. Ever. There have even been blind tests that tested a $10k+(or was it $100k) boutique amp against a $100 rubbish amp and in a double blind test, no one could tell the difference. I know and appreciate you think you can tell the difference but the truth is, you almost certainly can't as no one else can.

No amount of discussion or evidence is ever going to convince you or anyone else otherwise (if you want more in depth evidence go have a read of my posts on the link I put above) and there's a lot of other reasons to buy a more expensive amp (aesthetics, room eq etc.) but if your only goal is to get a transparent representation of the original producers intent, you can do that for a few hundred £. If you want a specific sound, that can be done with a decent EQ for a few hundred more. It's not magic or mystical despite the expensive amp manufacturers spending millions trying to convince you otherwise.

G
Your point #3 is the really important one.
However I do suspect that certain manufacturers do deliberately distort the frequency response curve. The Marshall Range,designed for guitar use,make this a feature of their product.
Some , including the SET amplifier as described two pages back, have intrinsically higher levels of distortion , because they ignore the benefits of feedback.
A 100 euro amplifier should be capable of very low distortion at reasonable power levels, and indistinguishable from a much more expensive amplifier at the same power level .
I would expect that the more expensive amplifier should be capable of outputting more power
Whether a 2 euro amplifier can be indistinguishable from the 100 euro , while driving speakers, I would doubt. There is a law of diminishing returns which affects very low cost items. The costly item in any amplifier is the power supply, particularly the transformer,and to a slightly less extent, the Capacitors. These are Costly in materials, and costly to ship.
 
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dannnielll

Well-known Member
To be fair regarding equipment stands - Back in the olden days when most had a turntable if you didnt purchase a dedicated wall shelf, you had a rack system each shelf spiked mainly a metal stand by companies like Sound Organisation or Target. These were for islolating floor vibrations for the suspended Turntables. So there was genuine use for them back then.
..yet another argument to walk away from vinyl.
 

musicphil

Active Member
Nope, if you have suspended turntables I have myself, isolate them from vibrations and you will be reward ...
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
Your point #3 is the really important one.
However I do suspect that certain manufacturers do deliberately distort the frequency response curve. The Marshall Range,designed for guitar use,make this a feature of their product.
Some , including the SET amplifier as described two pages back, have intrinsically higher levels of distortion , because they ignore the benefits of feedback.
A 100 euro amplifier should be capable of very low distortion at reasonable power levels, and indistinguishable from a much more expensive amplifier at the same power level .
I would expect that the more expensive amplifier should be capable of outputting more power
Whether a 2 euro amplifier can be indistinguishable from the 100 euro , while driving speakers, I would doubt. There is a law of diminishing returns which affects very low cost items. The costly item in any amplifier is the power supply, particularly the transformer,and to a slightly less extent, the Capacitors. These are Costly in materials, and costly to ship.
I completely agree. As I've mentioned in posts before the low floor for great sounding AV is very low these days. You can make any amp sound different but you don't need to pay £1000's to do it. Any amp <£500 for any reputable manufacturer will be more than enough in most circumstances. Also this snobbishness about AV amps needs to stop but that's a completely different discussion!

G
 

New Forester

Active Member
I think subwoofers are a waste of time and people would be better using the money frittered away on them to buy better speakers.
Just browsing this thread. I got rid of my 5.1 system for playing my mainly music DVDs. I kept my Spendor 3Se fronts and bought an old Marantz stereo amp. I’m amazed at just how good the sound is. Plenty of bass. Very happy with sound effects of my latest James Bond movie. Not missing my subwoofer or the other boxes and cables.
 

Maxson

Active Member
Another myth is that a 30wpc amp is enough for a 'normal' pair of speakers. I had a NAD amp of that power rating and a pair of speakers with a fairly normal 88dB sensitivity and I could hear clipping distortion at a volume level I would consider loud but not that loud. The amp got sold on ebay.

It should be noted in amplifier reviews that such power levels are only suited to quiet listening or very high sensitivity speakers. I think a lot of reviewers and hi-fi buffs must like the sound of clipping distortion and the job of a high end, low power amp designer is to make the clipping distortion sound as good as possible. My instinct is that this is what some reviewers and others may be interpreting as high end amps sounding different.
 

Ormy

Member
...the general goal most people (and amp manufacturers these days) aspire to is to be completely transparent and to as accurately as possible replicate the intent of the original producer/mastering

...if your only goal is to get a transparent representation of the original producers intent, you can do that for a few hundred £. If you want a specific sound, that can be done with a decent EQ for a few hundred more. It's not magic or mystical despite the expensive amp manufacturers spending millions trying to convince you otherwise.
I've been saying this for years, nobody ever listens. Nice to see someone else gets it. Especially these days where fancy DACs are all the rage yet completely pointless since any reputable amp/receiver with digital inputs will have a perfectly transparent DAC inside. Hell, DACs are such a mature technology at this stage that the majority of high-end phones, laptops and motherboards will have an audibly transparent DAC.
 
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bobel

Novice Member
We have the older Marantz MCR611 in our kitchen, running with my Linn Komponent 104 speakers, and it's mighty impressive - very solid, detailed, and powerful. I actually feel it beats the Linn Sneaky it replaced, and drives the Linn 104s incredibly well (and it's far more convenient to use, too)! Of course, I'm assuming that's because of the different-sounding amplifers it uses (sorry Maxson!🤣🤣🤣).
I've heard mostly good things about the MCR611...however, according to the 4stars WhatHiFi review, 'it lacks attack'...I do have the CeolN9 which is the Denon 'cousin' and are supposedly similar in terms of sound signature. In my opinion the ceol does not lack attack (probably the Dalis play a somewhat important role).
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
I've heard mostly good things about the MCR611...however, according to the 4stars WhatHiFi review, 'it lacks attack'...I do have the CeolN9 which is the Denon 'cousin' and are supposedly similar in terms of sound signature. In my opinion the ceol does not lack attack (probably the Dalis play a somewhat important role).
:facepalm:

G
 

drummerman

Active Member
I've heard mostly good things about the MCR611...however, according to the 4stars WhatHiFi review, 'it lacks attack'...I do have the CeolN9 which is the Denon 'cousin' and are supposedly similar in terms of sound signature. In my opinion the ceol does not lack attack (probably the Dalis play a somewhat important role).
Ignore xxGBHxx and anyone else telling everyone what they should (or should not) hear.

Make your own mind up about things, don't get too carried away and enjoy 😁.
 

drummerman

Active Member
Except you're not right.

But lets address it. Even if I were to accept what you say is true the amps you're talking about would be
  1. Not transparent
  2. Changing the sound on purpose (and arguably the source intent)
  3. Measurably different
The point is the general goal most people (and amp manufacturers these days) aspire to is to be completely transparent and to as accurately as possible replicate the intent of the original producer/mastering. As someone else mentioned, the industry has generally moved away from a "signature sound" if it ever really existed at all. In fact many manufacturers now proudly boast that as part of their marketing. Simplistically, what you're basically saying is that certain amp manufacturers are taking a transparent amp and applying eq. If that's what you're wanting to achieve then it's something you can achieve for considerably less.

Back to the reality though, while what you're saying is conventional wisdom, no double blind test has managed to prove it. Ever. There have even been blind tests that tested a $10k+(or was it $100k) boutique amp against a $100 rubbish amp and in a double blind test, no one could tell the difference. I know and appreciate you think you can tell the difference but the truth is, you almost certainly can't as no one else can.

No amount of discussion or evidence is ever going to convince you or anyone else otherwise (if you want more in depth evidence go have a read of my posts on the link I put above) and there's a lot of other reasons to buy a more expensive amp (aesthetics, room eq etc.) but if your only goal is to get a transparent representation of the original producers intent, you can do that for a few hundred £. If you want a specific sound, that can be done with a decent EQ for a few hundred more. It's not magic or mystical despite the expensive amp manufacturers spending millions trying to convince you otherwise.

G
I have heard this argument many times over the decades and it is as irrelevant now as it was the first time 🙃.

No offense to you .
 

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