What improvement came first?


I was sitting here thinking, listening to David Gilmour. Be that as it may, What equipment improvements came ahead of others? For example, in order to hear the difference between amps, wouldn’t you need better speakers first to hear the difference? So in my thinking, speakers advanced ahead of amps.  It was only once speakers became good enough, that the more subtle differences could be heard. But is that correct? What improves came before other ones? Did tone arms need to improve ahead of more advanced cartridges? If so, then improvements of one part can totally depend on advancement of another part first. Improvements in equipment are not just incremental within a category but between categories. 
deadhead1000
speakers first, amps after
For example, in order to hear the difference between amps, wouldn’t you need better speakers first to hear the difference? So in my thinking, speakers advanced ahead of amps.  It was only once speakers became good enough, that the more subtle differences could be heard. But is that correct?


Not to my thinking process, no.  There is one implicit inferences which I disagree with:

A speaker that is resolving of amplifiers is going to be better at musical resolution
 
And I completely reject that notion today.  I didn't used to.  What I have found instead is that some speakers are more demanding than others.  Often due to impedance dips and high phase angles in the mid to low bass.   So at the extreme, what good does it do me to buy speakers which only sound great with megabuck amplifiers?

Further, OK, so this speaker can tell me the difference between a Parasound and  Krell.  Whoopee.  Is that going to tell me anything about how it plays?  Rarely is the answer here yes.

As I was discussing in another thread, the single piece of gear which makes you stop buying other gear tends to be good room acoustic treatments.  They will outlive your gear, and you'll be happier with a wider variety of gear, and stop going the cable and tweak merry go round.  Get yourself a great sounding room, and you'll settle into a great system rather quickly.  Without this, you'll be churning amps and speakers forever.
So in my thinking, speakers advanced ahead of amps.  It was only once speakers became good enough, that the more subtle differences could be heard. But is that correct? What improves came before other ones? Did tone arms need to improve ahead of more advanced cartridges? If so, then improvements of one part can totally depend on advancement of another part first.



Not even. It doesn't matter what you have, a change anywhere is the same. There's no such thing as system matching, synergy, or weak link. Everything is what it is, and will be heard for what it is, regardless. 

You seem to think Linn couldn't show how important the turntable is except that speakers had gotten better first. When in fact the turntable he made was so much better than the speakers of the day those exact same turntables are used and still sound outstanding, we can see clearly the Linn was superior in caliber to the speakers of the day, proving that way back then they were the "strong link" if you want to call it that. 


Which blows out your thesis, since Linn was able to develop that turntable in spite of there being no speakers (or amps, or interconnects, or speaker cables, or power cords) that were up to the level of the Linn at the time it came out.

This is all able to happen only because you can hear all these little improvements made anywhere in the system even if the downstream gear is lower quality. You just have to listen for them. But they are there.
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Further, OK, so this speaker can tell me the difference between a Parasound and Krell. Whoopee. Is that going to tell me anything about how it plays? Rarely is the answer here yes.

As I was discussing in another thread, the single piece of gear which makes you stop buying other gear tends to be good room acoustic treatments. They will outlive your gear, and you’ll be happier with a wider variety of gear, and stop going the cable and tweak merry go round. Get yourself a great sounding room, and you’ll settle into a great system rather quickly. Without this, you’ll be churning amps and speakers forever.
Amen!

I will only add also to the importance of the audio system and the speakers in the room acoustical embeddings, the mechanical embedding and the electrical grid embedding....

The point you make is the same i made, except with the acoustical treatment and control, i add the important mechanical and electrical treatment and controls...

Most people underestimate completely acoustic and overestimate the rest of the audio system, without knowing that there is no such thing wich is the sound of speakers and amplifier without any room nor any electrical noise level grid, and without any vibrations nor resonance...

An audio system without any embeddings exist almost like" a knife without blade nor handle" (Lichtenberg), it is a pure blueprint design in the head of an engineer. Any "working" audio system with the speakers is embed in a house and in a room....

Anyway thanks for your always wise and informed observation.....

Merry Christmas to all....
Of course there were speakers up to and past the level of the Linn.
Speakers will determine the overall sound of a system more so than any other component. You can not choose an amplifier without first knowing what speaker you are going to drive. Everything else is minor in comparison particularly if you are sticking with digital. Analog front ends, the tonearm, cartridge and Phono stage will of course determine how vinyl sounds but still not as significant as speakers. The key is whether or not you are happy with the speakers you have or plan to up grade them. If you intend on upgrading them do that first before spending money on other equipment. If you are happy with the speakers and do not intend on upgrading them than is up to you to evaluate the rest of your gear to determine where an upgrade might be most valuable.
Rudy Van Gelder and other recording engineers in the 50s often had to roll off the lows at ~100Hz in the final master because the turntables of the era couldn't handle the bass below that w/o skipping.  The vinyl playback technology had to evolve to facilitate a wider dynamic range.  This is one reason the remasters by Kevin Gray and others (using original analog tape) sound so fantastic...they opened the pipe back up as modern gear can fully handle it - the results are often stunning.
@ Erik_Squires
Can not agree with you more that room acoustics are first and foremost paramount to great sound. The reason few people talk about its benefits in the industry is they won't be making any monies from it. Majorities of audiophile products manufacturers are all about equipment. What a major blow in their side if people figured out room acoustics are of primary importance. It's less expensive to achieve great sound with room acoustics than with  insanely expensive audio equipment. My take anyway. Merry Christmas everybody!
Its true. Like the other day we were all at Mike Lavigne's. Best room acoustics I have ever heard, by far. For a while there I thought it was his fine system. But then we got a call on speakerphone and dang if that wasn't the finest audio I ever heard. So whatever you do, forget the system. Build a room. Then all you need is a speaker phone. Bose Wave at the most, stick a fork in it, done. 
Can not agree with you more that room acoustics are first and foremost paramount to great sound. The reason few people talk about its benefits in the industry is they won't be making any monies from it. Majorities of audiophile products manufacturers are all about equipment. What a major blow in their side if people figured out room acoustics are of primary importance. It's less expensive to achieve great sound with room acoustics than with insanely expensive audio equipment. My take anyway. Merry Christmas everybody!
Short and sweet!

Well said and thank you for these words....All audiophiles beginners and sometimes  others need to read these words....

Merry Christmas...
So whatever you do, forget the system. Build a room.
Very well said, but add mechanical embeddings and electrical one to the acoustic.... But i know that you know already that for a long time...

Like i said beginners need to listen to these words....

No speakers can beat their room, and any room well treated and acoustically controlled can and must be the giant shoulders where any speakers can be seated and can really shine the more...

Merry Christmas to you and to all....
Omg, this statement is a joke, right: “Not even. It doesn't matter what you have, a change anywhere is the same. There's no such thing as system matching, synergy, or weak link. Everything is what it is, and will be heard for what it is, regardless.”

Is it Christmas or April fools day? Room and system synergy are the most important things to consider when building a system.Would you team up a warm sounding speaker with a warm sounding amp? Would you team up a 85db speaker with a 5watt SET amp? Would you put a $12k cartridge on a music hall tonearm? If you don’t know what you are doing, then system synergy wouldn’t matter.
Room acoustics can make great sounding gear sound like crap or a mid fi system sound very good. A good sounding room will allow the maximum benefit out of your gear.
Then all you need is a speaker phone. Bose Wave at the most, stick a fork in it, done.
I dont think that my mission Cyrus 781 are not also a great contribution for my S.Q. and a little better than a speaker phone also....
😊
I do think that Tekton are better then Bose wave, in a non treated room or in a treated room whatever..

Between Bose wave and Tekton there is some steps, my Mission are in between i dare to think nearer than Bose wave i dare to think....

Then the electronic components of an audio system matter but not as much as the whole market suggests...That is the point....

😊
Merry Christmas....I wish you the best coming year....
For sure all things matter, not on the same level or degree, but all things play their part...

You cannot match 15 inches Tannoy speakers dual gold with a 10 watts tube amplifier and wait for an optimal performance... No speakers sellers will recommend an inappropriate coupling between amp and speakers for example and any good sellers will give an advice about their speakers... It is well known fact....

Synergy matter, but room matter enormously, if all people know some basic about synergy, most people UNDERESTIMATE completely the room acoustical settings enormous impact... That is the point....

Then in an optimally well treated room a 10 watts amplifier at low volume will do correct with the Tannoy, even if this is not ideal synergy.... That is the point....
No speakers sellers will recommend an inappropriate coupling beween amp and speakers

@mahgister  Like a certain speaker seller stating 4 ohm speakers are always best? lol Look, I completely agree with you.  That's why it's so disappointing to see people on this very forum state ridiculous things like " Speaker amp problems are speaker problems." 

Incredible...I know.  I can't make this stuff up, and this kind of poor narrative is doing such a disservice to folks who are truly trying to understand component synergy better.  Thanks for all your sensible and eye-opening contributions.
Where does Dirac Live or any of their other ilk come into play here?
Thanks for all your sensible and eye-opening contributions.
To say the truth i know only a few things about audio.... Others here know very much more than me, acoustician, engineers, very well experienced audiophiles etc...

But the few things i know of, are ALL learned by myself and by listening experiments and experience....It is so true that if you read my posts you will see that i only speak about the same few things.... But what i said is about what i called embeddings controls, and these facts are not so well known or publicized for the benefit of all... Then i speak about these little but important facts i played with and understand...

All i know can be resume in 6 words: dont upgrade before embedding it all...

I am creative tough, even if ignorant, and all my embedding devices are low costs, and homemade, they are the fruit of my experiment and of my desire to live an audiophile experience without much money...Anyway i succeeded.... Thats all....

Thanks then for your kind and generous appreciation.... Merry Christmas and stay healthy.....
At first there was no goal of highest fidelity and reproducing recognizable sound at all was fairly impressive. Then pretty much every improvement could be considered low hanging fruit. It would just be a matter of doing the best you can in your own area of expertise without much concern about who else is doing what. The real world isn’t like a video game where you have to level up in a certain order. If you recognize an area that has room for improvement and no one is doing it, that is an opportunity. Never forget that this is a business as well as a hobby. There is no master plan in the free market.
Never forget that this is a business as well as a hobby. There is no master plan in the free market.
i dare to object to you that the "free" market is a pure theoretical construct that never existed and cannot exist at all because non regulated markets are rigged very rapidly by concentrate invisible center of powers ....

The " apparently free and at the same time really not so free" market first conception is the fruit of a brain that lived in the first years of the 17 century.... Bernard Mandeville whom Hayek and Milton Friedman call "our master Brain".... Adam Smith steal from him not without ereasing the cynic and dreadful lucidity of Mandeville and veiling, with others after him, the not so "beautiful" idea of a so called market which seems free but which is not really free, with the more "noble" idea that it can be totally "free"...

There is no such thing as a "free" market , except in the head of Friedman and others...In the head of the genius Mandeville, the Market seems to be free but is not in reality, because there is 2 center of powers in any society that concentrate the power in the direction which is the best for them... Mandeville create centuries before Marx the idea of social competitive classes BUT not based on economical struggles at all but on socio- psychological power struggles between a psychotic elite and a psychopathic mafia, the nevrotic masses between these 2....He was less economically naive than even Marx or Smith...Mandeville even create psychoanalysis centuries before Freud, incredible but true....


Back to audio now...

In audio the interest of this non "free" and apparently free market is selling merchandise, not advising people that audiophile experience is possible at very low cost and with some simple means to controls the mechanical, the electrical and acoustical embeddings of the audio system...

It is the same thing in the pharma industry.... Is it some deep research about cheap generic medecine easily available ? No, there is no money there and no reason to invest in a low cost product with no more patent right attach to it and especially not if this cheap medecine work marvellously....  It is better for this non free and oriented market to create new products at higher cost for the consumers and to sell these to them, even if they dont work better and even if they work worst....

Economic science is way less scientific then astrology even for forecasting...Nobel economic prizes are mostly  second grade mathematical prize at best or in the worse case an ideological prize... 

1+1= 2

Merry Christmas and i apologize for my perhaps rude answer....

I wish you the best from my heart....
Get your mind back to 'Talkies'.

Sound on film was THE REVOLUTION. Amplification, and speakers to fill a theater with sound were the real deal. Home equipment got the low hanging fruit.