- 74 posts total
- 74 posts total
'Junk In = Junk Out.Its nearly always the case of diminishing returns the further up the audio chain we go.'
Yes, but wasn't that the old 1980s Linn mantra that they nicked from the computer industry (gigo)?
With the advent of digital, distortion levels have been barely measurable.
Aren't mechanical transducers now the only existing parts of the audio chain where we can still measure distortion?
In particular - microphones, cartridges, and loudspeakers.
As Mr. Schroeder indicated: " There will always be Chintziphiles". I know I'm in that class as I have never spent more than $1000 on any individual component. My listening space is sonically challanged, I have 20% hearing loss in my right ear and as much as I would love to pursue owning a reference level system, I am unable to earmark that level of expenditure, now that I am retired.
I do, however take exception to the initial premise of this thread. I have a second hand LG Blue Ray player and a 20 year old NAD C 520 CD player. They are both running through an okay Arcam DAC. The sound difference isn't night and day, but the NAD makes a superior sounding transport. Even the analog out of the NAD sounds better than the LG playing through the outboard DAC.
I really prefer "budget limited stereo enthusiast" to "Chintziphile" as my moniker. I find that even entry level equipment, when properly partnered, can be gratifying. There is a sound difference as one goes up the audio food chain. I even found diminishing returns at my lower price points.
I have not had the long list of components that some people have had. However I can tell you what I have experienced:
A few years ago I swapped my Bose 901s for a pair of Magnepan 1.7i speakers.
Marshall SS pre-amp --> Aric Audio Tube Pre-amp
Very big difference
ifi nano DAC --> Cambridge NX
very discernable difference
Front channels of amp section of Yamaha home theatre system --> (used) Parasound HCA2200
Very discernable difference
The changes were always made piecemeal: One component at a time. This means that I was able to A/B that component with everything else remaining the same. Note: The cnanges happened in the order listed. I have had other components: A Carver and Sunrise amp, some New York Audio Labs tube gear; NAD and Sony CD players, but they were too long ago to be able to make comparisons. Also I did not keep the old equipment so I could not slice and dice different combinations.
I have not played with high end cables. I have upgraded my cables (zip speaker cables --> 12g oxygen free copper; Standard power cords to $50 variety; Standard interconnect to upgraded cables (again $50/pair variety) The difference was negligible to barely discernable to my ears.
(Don’t get me started on digital cables: I have some expertise here, and think that spending more than $20 on them is nuts. Digital signal transfer does not work the same as analog. A bit is a bit. If you sense poor timing, get a better DAC)
Bottom Line: I agree whole heartedly that changing speakers far and away make the biggest difference. But I do not agree that swapping other components will not be audible or noticeable. I think he is probably right about CD transports -- see my comment about digital cables. I ditched (stored) my 600+ CDs a few years ago in favor of streaming. [44khz 16 bit digital is the same if the bits are stored on a disc or in the cloud)
Reasonable statement — speakers are the most imperfect link in the chain; followed by questionable opinion — all decent electronics sound the same. One is just a fact of physics and one ignores differences in people’s hearing perceptions and preferences. Sound preference is not a matter of moral principle. I can prefer a particular amp on my favorite speaker without participating in some nebulous “scam.”