SYNERGY –is it all about the setup

Buy the best made, most revealing, transparent, detailed electronics and speakers you can afford, and all will be well!

Easy enough. Right?

This topic is about finding and implementing synergy. How we elevate performance of an audio system by using THINGS SUCH as sympathetic electronics, the implementation of accessories and add ons, etc..

Has your experience shown you good or decent sounding electronics can be made to sound great or even outstanding by infusing better inter connects, speaker cables, power cords, power line conditioning, mixing in complimentary electronics, and or better isolation elements such as racks or stands and platforms?

Has your experience proven mixing, or using appropriate mating of complimentary electronics can mean adding an extremely revealing pre to a less resolute amp? Or vice versa?

Naturaly, if tube powered gear is sought and or bought, then rolling tubes counts. As importantly, room treatments can be seen as add ons for enhancing the sound.

IYO, Is system synergy something which can be generated, or improved upon during set up, or is it encumbent upon staying with ‘in house’ brands from source to amp, or at least pre amp and amp?

IYO Exactly where does synergy most often thrive? In the setup? In the electronics? Or is system synergy   always lying SOME WHERE hidden IN BETWEEN?

Is there indeed a shortcut to synergy? If not, how did you achieve it?

Mapman, thanks for the mention and for the link. However, I recently pulled the book off Amazon. The price shown is three times the actual price.

getbettersound dot com

Good point. I didn’t remember it costing that much. Used nonetheless! Only good things end up costing more used.

I used to live in Huntsville Al and bought a pair of Magnepans demoed for me at Audition in Birmingham ~ 1986 or so, which I read recently was run by the author of this book. Was that you who demoed? :-) In any case, best Maggie sound I recall ever in that showroom with the speakers set up just right and well into the room.  First time I ever bought a pair of speakers costing almost $1000 on the spot!

@mapman > see jim smith’s book.

Blindjim > thanks. I’m somewhat familiar with Mr. Smith’s philosophies.

My point is obtaining practical experience from those who have learned via practical application. You know, OJT! Information coming as the result of their own experiences and philosophies regarding the development of synergy in their audio system efforts over the years, listed in one topic seemed a pretty good idea..

I don’t feel there is ONLY one path to this goal either. As such, I’d be far more interested in getting those ‘takes’ and certainly your own on the subject, not strickly for myself, but for anyone committed to this hobby looking for ways to improve or obtain a highly resolving engaging audio system. Especially given individual input that has nothing to gain, seems to me to be perhaps more earnest or sincere.

As well, sharing ideas is just another part of this past time that adds dimension and texture to it.

However, thanks much. Your input is always welcomne.

IMO just a bit too much gets made regarding synergy.IMO System synergy starts with the fact that so much really really good gear is available today at such reasonable prices...Unless you have a gross miss match of demanding load with low power pretty much anything you buy today outside mainstream box store choices can be made to sound damn pleasing with a bit of set up and acoustic treatment...I also believe this is the reason you see so many varied responses when new users request gear recommendations...Pretty much every one here has a decent sounding system...
@Freediver > ‘…. pretty much anything you buy today outside mainstream box store choices can be made to sound damn pleasing with a bit of set up and acoustic treatment...”

Blindjim > agreed. However…. Which portion thereof, the ‘setup’ or the room acoustics matter more? Come first? Last?

Hence the real crux of the situation lies here for feedback.

= = = = == = = = = = = = = = =

Sorry for being so late to attend to any posts I’ve generated or added onto. Surgery kept me from the ability to reply more timely. The mists are clearing now so this should not be an issue going forward, with any luck.

^..IMO room acoustics.When I talk about set up it simply comes down to paying attention to cables not running along each other and isolating equipment from vibration or resonance.Nothing however in set up will cure echo or boomy bass.
As for equipment synergy IMO as long as you don't have gross miss matches pretty much everything nowdays plays nice with everything else in the chain..
Wow mite take be a few weeks to figure it out ill let you know asap.
Post removed 

Essentially, I feel its all ‘trial and error’.

Once a basic setup is in place, the actual dance begins.

I initially bought a B&K amp many moons ago. Used a Sony ES version HT receiver as the preamp. These fed a pair of BW 600 series floorstanders. Source was the FM Tuner in the receiver, or a 50 CDP carosel. TOS link connected the CDP. Monster RCAs hooked the HT receiver to the B&K amp. Speaker cables were Monster 12 ga. Bare endeed spool wire.

Quickily the new B&K amp was returned for a new Krell KAV 250 SS amp.

Wanna know how much ‘synergy’ was in that rig? Nada much. If at all. Clinical. Sterile. Only some DVDs would sound good now and then, or movies from HBO via the cable box.

So much for everything plays well together these days.

Nearly everything in that first outfit had a lot of room for improvement. Next up, I added the complimentary KAV preamp, but was still ignorant about the influence of better wires. I returned the KAV pre. Bought an Adcom pre. Took it back too.

Began rolling in and out speakers. Each more expensive than previous pairs. Ended up with Monitor audio Gold 60s.

About that time I found this site. 2002 – 2003.

Installed dedicated ckts. Began trying out wires and passive PLCs.

Still, nada so much synergy worth talking about. In fact, a lot of disappointment.

2004 got into a brand new house fully on spec. 4 ded ckts. This time.

Bought upscale Cardass cables, SR speaker wires.

Began auditioning still more. Tried more than 40 brands or models.

Sold the Krell. Bought a BAT VK500 w/BAT pk. Finally. Something worth sitting down and listening to. Added the comp BAT pre VK5. Muy better!

Sold the Gold 60s, bought VSA VR4 JRs. Upgraded the ancient velodyne sub to a DD15 series.

Bought a $3K SACD/CDP.

Auditioned half a dozen DACs. Bought one for $3K.

Got a Thor T1000 MK II line stage by selling the BAT VK5. Then, the term ‘wow’ could be injected into the conversation.

Things were the best I’ve ever owned at that point. So I sold off the amp and speakers.

Why, jim, why? Just because I feel a sound is great does not mean one will be unable to acquire better.

I’ve heard it said, ‘the good is the enemy of the best’.

I can languish in good and completely miss out on the best.

Sans amp and transducers, I bought EL34 mono blocks and Silverline Sonata IIIs.

Life came crashing thru my doors late one night and most everything went away quite quickly shortly thereafter as security suddenly had its priorities dramatically escalated. . great tunes are of no value if I’m dead.

… and the beat goes on.

I feel had I known of tube preamps at all, and added one to either the B&K or KAV 250 I might have lived with that combo for a fairly good while. As both of these amps in combination with a tube preamp demonstrated fascinating ‘SYNERGY’, they could not have displayed nor did they with SS preamps.

Consequently I agree theres little rhyme and reason for blue printing synergy after all due considerations and apparent feedback.

Achieving synergy however demands experimentation, some out of the gbox thinking, some trust, and a truly open mind.

Like my former self, some will never experiment with wires, power cords or power conditioners. On this same myopic note not many will mate tubes with SS, or go all tubes front to back as the power train for their audio arrangement.

My own only imagined fear continues to keep my hands off of ultra high eff horn speakers and low watt tube amps. Why? Beats me. I have no viable factual argument to sustain that prohibition, its all merely contempt prior to investigation I suppose.

If ya never try, ya will never know for sure.