Is the HiFi world changing and are What Hifi and others hanging on to the old world?

phil t

Well-known Member
You are making up a problem where none exists.

When it comes to sound quality of audio systems. For people at the same event. With high enough levels of integrity.
But you said any 10k system for digital and any million pound system for analogue?

Have you and those at an event even heard a million pound system? If not, how can you be sure that your system beats it, other than you all have high levels of integrity and agree that it does?
 

oscroft

Member
Great thread, your Amp comment made me almost spit coffee on the keyboard ! When I got into this in mid/late 90's, a mate and his crew of fellow "audiophiles" spun those exact lines. I was shamed into not buying a smart looking Marantz Amp/CDP I wanted as it wasn't "proper hifi" although I did eventually choose and listen with my own ears and went with one of their acceptable suggestions, an Arcam combo which served me well.

Noted you're in Liverpool have you been into Doug Bradys of late ? If you still play vinyl they have a decent collection for sale so you don't feel as your visit is wasting their time.
No, I've not been to Doug Brady, but I should do seeing as I'm old enough to get most of the way there on my free travel pass. I didn't realise they had a collection of LPs, so I'll probably pay a visit when when the lock-down is over.

I did get my Rega turntable and Ultimo cartridge from WA Brady back in 1979, and they were brilliant.
 

oscroft

Member
You are making up a problem where none exists.

When it comes to sound quality of audio systems. For people at the same event. With high enough levels of integrity.
I might be misunderstanding this, but are you saying that everyone with a high level of integrity agrees with you, and thus suggesting that the only reason for disagreeing with you is a lack of integrity?

(I'm not saying that is what you're saying, I'm genuinely unsure and just asking)
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
No, I've not been to Doug Brady, but I should do seeing as I'm old enough to get most of the way there on my free travel pass. I didn't realise they had a collection of LPs, so I'll probably pay a visit when when the lock-down is over.

I did get my Rega turntable and Ultimo cartridge from WA Brady back in 1979, and they were brilliant.
I think the LP stock is a great idea yet I've never seen it used in other hifi stores. I've been twice and spent £50.
 

oscroft

Member
I think the LP stock is a great idea yet I've never seen it used in other hifi stores. I've been twice and spent £50.
Yes, I think it's a great idea. I'm always put off the idea of visiting a hifi shop just to have a look around without any plans to buy anything, but having some records to browse and possibly buy would make a big difference. Especially as, presumably, they're high quality recordings.
 

Costello

Well-known Member
What HiFi and other magazines are businesses first and foremost and have to turnover a profit. Incomes comes from two sources: subscribers and buyers of the magazine - real and online - and advertisers. I would be very interested to know what these ratios are. First rule of business: keep the customer happy and they’ll come back. I can, therefore, understand, why there may be certain elements of bias towards major income sources. From a business point of view, you can understand it. Bearing this in mind, you just have to read between the lines and research other non-profit making sources. In those instances, all you’re reading is mostly opinion. The internet can be great, it can also be awful. If you were going to buy a car, would you just walk down the street asking every random stranger whether a BMW 3 series is better than a Mercedes C class? The responses would be huge. Some would be educated and well-informed, others would be thoughtless and nothing more than guesses, BMW owners would have one point of view, Mercedes owners a different one. It would be a minefield. Research, discernment and trust in yourself are key attributes 👍
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
What a great topic, especially now that we have time on our hands.

It’s possible to buy an audio system today that gives far better quality than 20 years ago, however these are not the sort of systems typically recommended in the press or by retailers.

While music is an art, reproducing it faithfully is much more of a science.

If you want a really great picture you’ll have your TV or projector measured and calibrated so it faithfully recreates the correct brightness, contrast and colour balance.

Fidelity is important so we measure…………but not with sound…..

If you buy an expensive hifi it will give very inaccurate results because of the way your room changes the sound of your speakers. Most systems vary by about 20db from the intended response of your loudspeakers which will mean some sounds will be heard 4 times louder than others. Hardly hifi!

These huge errors created by the room can only be corrected by measuring and correcting the system. When this is done you will get measurably and audibly far better sound quality. Typically the difference is so big, you’ll hear the difference from the next room

I have sold Lyngdorf electronics for 15 years which contain the world’s best room correction software. RoomPerfect is the only system that preserves the sound of your speakers while removing the errors of your room. If you have good speakers it will give better sound quality than a stack of traditional electronics. Again, this is measurable as well as very easy to hear.

The problem is that this disrupts the business model of people write and sell audio equipment who want to keep you coming back for continual upgrades.

Ask yourself this, if sound quality is so important, why doesn’t your dealer measure and correct it when the technology exists. Do you think the lure of recommending more and more boxes as an upgrade may be a factor?

If you want to watch something that form a real expert on sound, this debunks most of the BS spouted about hifi
 

Paul7777x

Member
The greatest addition to fidelity in the last twenty years (at least) is top quality room correction.

Regardless of the price, quality, claims to excellence and superb engineering of even very expensive hifi, all have to contend with the listening rooms additions and subtractions.

It‘s quite obvious really; imagine a perfect room.

Then add the hifi of your choice. Perfect. Naturally.

However, there is no perfect room. And all rooms are different sizes, differing shapes, have differing furniture, different surfaces and differing necessities for speaker positioning.

Therefore what might sound perfect in a ‘perfect’ room cannot sound perfect in any other room.

Room correction is the way forward. Within a few years it’ll be available in just about everything. No doubt lots of cheap, nasty efforts, but the good ones will keep getting better and cheaper.
 

lindsayt

Active Member
But you said any 10k system for digital and any million pound system for analogue?

Have you and those at an event even heard a million pound system? If not, how can you be sure that your system beats it, other than you all have high levels of integrity and agree that it does?
I've heard a variety of 10K to £100k+ 21st century, bought new from a dealer systems.
The fundamental flaw with £10k dealer systems is the ubiquitous use of slimline low efficiency ported speakers. Which - as a genre are bad when it comes to the sound quality.

Plus my CD player is a good one. See what Lampizator says about it.
And with a CD player or a tape machine my system is suitable for the stepped attenuator pre-amp that I'd use. Passive pre-amps sound better than active pre-amps when the source and the power amp are passive pre-amp friendly.

I said I'd be "disappointed" if a brand new 21st century bought new from a dealers digital £10k system sounded better than my £800 system. £10k doesn't buy you much - in terms of the engineering from dealers these days.

For the analog system I'm "confident" because reel to reel tape machines went out of production in the 20th century. So we'd have to compare vinyl on a record player to a master tape or a master tape copy on my high end professional reel to reel tape machine.

The differences between master tape and vinyl are so fundamental to the reproduction of music that I am confident that no vinyl system could beat my tape system. Garbage In Garbage Out applies to analog systems.

Please note that I used the words "disappointed" and "confident". I did not say that I was "sure". Please don't misquote me or pretend that I said something that I didn't say.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
HiFi systems are very inaccurate. Reduce the distortion and people prefer the sound.

The biggest errors are the ones your room create and these are now easy to measure.

If you really want hi fidelity, I’d suggest measurement or having some fixed reference point that removes the distortion of your room (like headphones), is the place to start.
 

lindsayt

Active Member
HiFi systems are very inaccurate. Reduce the distortion and people prefer the sound.

The biggest errors are the ones your room create and these are now easy to measure.

If you really want hi fidelity, I’d suggest measurement or having some fixed reference point that removes the distortion of your room (like headphones), is the place to start.
So, how come live music in a variety of venues, ranging from a practise basement to a pub room, to a church hall, the Albert Hall to Wembley Stadium, to a large tent in Roundhay Park sounds like live music?

And doesn't sound like a distorted version of live music, in at least some of the venues?
 

Dale tem

Standard Member
@Rob Sinden - I find the various different branches of audio enthusiasts really interesting.

When I was last into hifi, it was the lesser is better. 1 CD player, possibly a DAC (wasn't hugely common in the late 90s) and amp and a pair of speakers. Anything beyond that is ruining the sound.

Yet at the same time my car hifi had a 31 band separate left and right EQs, active crossovers with varying slopes, phase adjustment and a different amplifier channel for each tweeter, the mids, midbass and subs having their own amp each.

And pro audio enthusiasts had rack mounted kick with EQs and the works.

It has been interesting to see how home audio has changed in the last 20 years. That more is not necessarily bad, more voodoo and witchcraft has been added in, yet it seems some common sense is being added in as well, taking parts from other areas.

Correcting a room's audio is something I would be interested in. I had 2 professionals set up my car for me and from that day on I never adjust the level of the subs again. The leveling and EQing they did made my car perfect for every track, I wasn't boosting the subs on some tracks and reducing it on others due to frequency response. It was pure bliss. I miss my car stereo, I will never be able to recreate the sound in my car in a house and not sure I would be able to rebuild what I had in a car again either as so many companies have gone as car audio has become so niche.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Producing sound in a big, commercial sized space is largely about having good quality speakers.

If you watch Floyd Tooles video he says exactly this at the end. Plus in these spaces there is an engineer who adjust the system to the acoustics of the space, the genre of music played and the volume level its being reproduced at.

In the home, bass is a far greater problem. A bass wave at 80Hz is 4.3m long and trying to reproduce this sound in a room that’s say 4 x 6m will result in a confusing mess.

Imagine your room is a swimming pool and you are trying to recreate waves 4.3m long. The moment you do, the waves will bounce back off the walls so you get big peaks and troughs in the waves/sound.

The problems and solutions required for small rooms are very different from those in commercial cinemas, concert halls or any large spaces.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
If you read a little about the Schroeder Frequency it will help explain the different problems that exist in the small rooms we live in and the large spaces that music is usually played in.

 

1992

Active Member
Am I correct in thinking that Whathifi (and probably other reviewers) rely on companies sending them demo products to review? If that is the case, it would make sense that such companies would probably also be a) the ones who also advertise with the magazine, b) big enough that they have a decent finances to send out demos and c) predominantly British companies. Again, this is all based on my intial assumption, but if true, it would make sense why it's always the same companies.

The alternative would be for Whathifi to be doing lots of research to find new brands, which would be nice. It seems to me that they do a bit of that, but I suspect it doesn't work as a business model to be doing too much of it.

Matt
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
The way the AV industry typically works is that when someone has stopped working for a magazine, they become a consultant. These people are paid a monthly retainer by major the manufacturers to promote their products to the press. So, if you work at What HiFi for example, you’ll probably know you predecessor who will buy you lunch regularly.

Last time I checked a full-page ad in say What HiFi was about £9,000. Obviously many manufacturers can’t afford this or aren’t prepaired to work with the system in this way.

If you spend £100k a year with a magazine who meet with you regularly and another manufacturer has no relationship with you and spends nothing, it is going to impact on how they rate products.

This is why Forums like this one are useful. If a product gets a good or bad review at least the public can speak up and comment on it.

FYI The AVF Forum in the USA was owned by the main re-seller of Sony products. This helps explain why their products always get fab reviews even though some gave dreadful results.
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
The way the AV industry typically works is that when someone has stopped working for a magazine, they become a consultant. These people are paid a monthly retainer by major the manufacturers to promote their products to the press. So, if you work at What HiFi for example, you’ll probably know you predecessor who will buy you lunch regularly.

Last time I checked a full-page ad in say What HiFi was about £9,000. Obviously many manufacturers can’t afford this or aren’t prepaired to work with the system in this way.

If you spend £100k a year with a magazine who meet with you regularly and another manufacturer has no relationship with you and spends nothing, it is going to impact on how they rate products.

This is why Forums like this one are useful. If a product gets a good or bad review at least the public can speak up and comment on it.

FYI The AVF Forum in the USA was owned by the main re-seller of Sony products. This helps explain why their products always get fab reviews even though some gave dreadful results.
My wife is a publisher and I can verify that this is true. Advert funded magazines will always have a bias towards their better paying customers - the manufacturers who advertise.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Dale term -

Less is more, is still entirely valid.

If you have a good amp and you add a room correction device which will be digital, the signal will go through A/D and D/A conversion which is not ideal.

Lyngdorf make two types of amps SDA’s (semi digital amps) and TDA’s (true digital amps). TDA’s are effectively DAC’s with a volume control. If you feed it a digital signal, room correction, crossover, Voicings, delays, tone controls and anything else can be done to the signal without adding any noise or distortion.

So, run a TDA from a digital source and you’ll get the simplest, clearest signal path possible.

Compare this with a separate pre amp, DAC, correction system and power amps and there will be far more noise and lower resolution.

This video from an old skool hifi dealer illustrates this perfectly.


 

oscroft

Member
What a great topic, especially now that we have time on our hands.

It’s possible to buy an audio system today that gives far better quality than 20 years ago, however these are not the sort of systems typically recommended in the press or by retailers.

While music is an art, reproducing it faithfully is much more of a science.

If you want a really great picture you’ll have your TV or projector measured and calibrated so it faithfully recreates the correct brightness, contrast and colour balance.

Fidelity is important so we measure…………but not with sound…..

If you buy an expensive hifi it will give very inaccurate results because of the way your room changes the sound of your speakers. Most systems vary by about 20db from the intended response of your loudspeakers which will mean some sounds will be heard 4 times louder than others. Hardly hifi!

These huge errors created by the room can only be corrected by measuring and correcting the system. When this is done you will get measurably and audibly far better sound quality. Typically the difference is so big, you’ll hear the difference from the next room

I have sold Lyngdorf electronics for 15 years which contain the world’s best room correction software. RoomPerfect is the only system that preserves the sound of your speakers while removing the errors of your room. If you have good speakers it will give better sound quality than a stack of traditional electronics. Again, this is measurable as well as very easy to hear.

The problem is that this disrupts the business model of people write and sell audio equipment who want to keep you coming back for continual upgrades.

Ask yourself this, if sound quality is so important, why doesn’t your dealer measure and correct it when the technology exists. Do you think the lure of recommending more and more boxes as an upgrade may be a factor?

If you want to watch something that form a real expert on sound, this debunks most of the BS spouted about hifi
Ah, another RoomPerfect ad from the Lyngdorf salesman. Thanks Rob.
 

oscroft

Member
My pleasure. If there is any other methods of fixing room problems that you know of, please can you share them here?
Nah, you carry on mate. Having you pushing the stuff you sell down our throats at every opportunity (and being allowed to because you pay for the privilege*) is just what we need - especially in a thread that has been discussing the abuse of media for the sole purpose of selling stuff, including slagging off the opposition.

(*I've been told by the authorities here that it's all just fine, so it seems the bad old days of hifi sellers pushing advertising in the guise of editorial/opinion are still very much with us. Ho hum)
 
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Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Apparently of the 400 hundred banner ads on this Forum, the Lyngdorf one has the most click through so there is clearly demand from people who know it offers something different and want to know more.

I think this is largely because there is now so much awareness of the errors that room create and so room treatment and room correction are hot topics in the AV world.

In the hifi world, most people know little about the subject because traditional hifi brand don’t have a technology that can fix room errors and so ignore the issue. This is why I’m doing all I can to point out the problem’s rooms create and what can and can’t be done to rectify them.

RoomPerfect is unique but 14 years after it was patented very few people understand what is different about it, what it aims to do and its benefits over any alternatives.

If there is anything technical wrong about what I’m saying or if you know of any other way that room errors can be fixed, please point them out here so people can learn from these threads.
 

oscroft

Member
Apparently of the 400 hundred banner ads on this Forum, the Lyngdorf one has the most click through so there is clearly demand from people who know it offers something different and want to know more.
You're missing my point.

I've got nothing against Lyngdorf equipment or RoomPerfect - in fact, I'm quite impressed by the reviews I've read of it.

And I've got nothing against providing honest and unbiased information - but the last opinion I want on how good it is is that of the salesman.

I'm just disturbed by the blatantly promotional tone of your posts, while slagging off the rest of the industry for their dodgy ethics. It's a motes and beams thing, and all that, and to me you're coming over more as a pushy salesman than a helpful expert.

I often encounter people in marketing/promotion/advertising who are so evangelical about what they're selling and so blinded by their daily marketing speak that they can't see how pushy they look to others.

Anyway, as I say, I'm told it's all perfectly acceptable here, so I'll leave you to it.

Update: Here's another thought - if the Lyngdorf banner ad has the most click through of all, does that not perhaps suggest you actually don't need to be quite so pushy?
 
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Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Dale term -

Less is more, is still entirely valid.

Got to agree with this and those views expressed by @lindsayt.

My analogue system is source > passive preamp > active monitors (crossover - power amp - speakers in that order).

My digital system is Source > minidsp nanodigi for sub integration and room eq > DAC x4 > passive preamp at max volume I.e. just a wire > active monitors.

I did a head to head comparison of four Preamp’s, volume matched as best I could - Nad 1240 (traditional preamp), Rotel RSP1066 (AV preamp), SMPro M-Patch V2, Source direct into active speakers

I preferred the passive preamp and direct connection (no real difference), Nad boosted bass and made it a bit muddy, Rotel made the mids sound a bit thin. (All settings to zero or direct).

Going back to original post, my system is a mix of mainstream hifi and studio brands (Pro-Ject, Mackie, Audio Technica) and niche Brands (Khadas, Edwards Audio, SMPro, minidsp), chosen to provide the features and sound I want.

So less is more for me.
 

Rob Sinden

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
I understand what I’m saying ruffles feathers, but I don’t think I’m the one at fault.

As an industry, the hifi systems typically promoted don’t deliver accurate sound, consistency results or the best value for money. If TVs or cameras provided such low resolution and such inconsistent results, they would be blasted by the press etc.

This thread asks “Is the HiFi world changing and are What Hifi and others hanging on to the old world?”

This is the question I’m responding to because I completely agree with the premise of the title.

If you are serious about getting the best sound quality at your budget, what’s recommended by the press and most retailers won’t deliver it. If sound quality really is your main criteria then measuring and correcting it in some way should be important. This is possible to do which would make a huge improvement in the quality, consistency and value for money of the systems sold, however most retailers and the press are not interested as the gravy train they are funded by doesn’t offer this solution.

This is what I'm critical of, not any particular brand or product.
 

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