I’ve read a couple of posts on this site alluding to the notion that one can be best assured of positive results by matching components produced by the same manufacturer when assembling a stereo system. Is this really a thing? Should I worry that a Decware phono stage won’t play nice with my ARC linestage? Or that I would have been better served by finding an ARC DAC in lieu of the Black Ice FX DSD I recently acquired?
Just looking for a little guidance, as my budget is such that I really can’t be screwing this up...
No...you should be more concerned with matching the right amp to the right speakers. The rest of it falls into place, meaning the source components of any manufacturer of your choice depending on your taste.
I prefer my amp and preamp to be from the same manufacturer
As much as I would like to have gone this route, a high output ARC power amp was well outside my budget. I’m actually really happy with my Legacy/CODA amp, and I feel like, at $600, it was a smokin deal. And tbh, I wasn’t ready to go whole hog on tubes.
No, it is not a thing. No, you should not care. https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/8367 Different turntable, arm, cat, phono stage, amp, speakers, wire, subs. Different conditioner, vibration control, room treatments. Please note the listener comments in the system notes section. Select each component on its own merits independent of the others. Only way to go.
This is a question I had at the beginning of my journey, too. It simplifies things but it’s more like having the waitress order for you -- takes away the fun and eliminates the easy-to-discover variety of the many things that can work for you. There are some rules of thumb for avoiding MISmatches (that are easily researched) and that’s probably the limit of caution you need. I’ll spare you links to my unmatched system, as explaining this doesn’t require hubris.
Went with matching preamp for my amp(s) under recommendation from the amplifier manufacturer and designer of the amp(s),...and I happened across a NM cond. one used for a fairly good price. Nothing too fancy, amps, preamp, descent cables, speakers (I) love 2 very good Sources. (Cd players)
if it sounds great to you , who cares what others think, play music and have a dram and some trail mix.
Used other preamps, tiny minuscule audio differences between preamps, but the matching one sounds amazing!
The best stereos are not one brand only but assembled together with the best components of their type and kind i firmly believe that all companies are not jack of all trades companies you have good amp makers, pre amp makers, speaker makers, tuner makers, turntable makers, etc. These are not all going to come from the same company for sure in almost every case and if they do you are settling for mediocre sound somewhere.
Honestly... I’m extremely pleased to have a system that sounds, to my ears, “pretty damned good”. I take great cheer in knowing that it will only get better as I move forward upgrading my front end, cabling, isolation, etc.
incidentally, my same amp popped up for sale here... I think it’s a pretty good deal at what it’s marked at. Maybe I should grab a spare lol
Matching all components often is next to impossible, but having said that, to the extent it can be done often avoids problems with 'hums, buzzes and noise floor' problems. Components from a given manufacturer is often 'voiced' by using other components from that company's product line. I have heard some very high end mixtures that simply did not sound good.