Iceman 16

Do your “standards” go higher as you upgrade?

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7 minutes ago, Tony_J said:

Really...? :dunno:

Nope, it’s gravy that makes the world go round.

:22:

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I am not sure about standards changing as you upgrade.  We all seek what think is to our ears the most accurate presentation (or is it most enjoyable?) .. the problem comes with never making a real step change and compromising on what we get (because we cannot afford what we do want and so look to find something that performs to as close as possible for a cheaper price.  

If you are an equipment addict then it is a bit of an addiction to change boxes regularly instead of doing the sensible thing and saving your dosh until you find something that knockes your socks off.   Too often people change items for a minimal or absolutely no improvement in sound quality (although for the first weeks of the change the brain tells you it is better but eventually you are dissatisfied and have to change again).

Perhaps I am just a tight boring old git but I am totally happy with my system the last real change being 17 years ago when I spent a fortune on changing the loudspeakers (I could have bought a decent car for less at the time).  

Are there amos and preamps and cd players and all sorts out there that sound better than what I have - the answer has to be very probably .. but am I happy with the sound my system produces  and the answer is most definitely and resoundingly a YES .. so  until I hear something that trips that switch inside and I have to have it (as happened with my loudspeakers) then not a lot is going to be changing in what I have ever :) 

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14 hours ago, tuga said:

"Bright" equipment may give an impression of detail but this is not the result of a higher ability to resolve low-level detail.

Unfortunately it's become fashionable for manufacturers to design "bright-sounding" speakers and this has led to many people associating "resolving power" with "hardness" and too much treble.

A real high-resolution system or equipment will sound detailed when playing at low levels and smooth-sounding when played loud. Such systems can be used at much higher SPLs without causing tiredness but will retain detail when played at low levels.

Totally agree many solid-state amps tend to cause treble harshness, it's not always obvious and many speaker's don't always illustrate it.. but it's there.. and it's not always the amp that gets blamed when more resolving speakers are tried..

I find metal cone speakers very good at giving an impression of more detailed. But when you listen it's not actually there.

It's the same with those led volume preamps .

A few years ago there was one doing the rounds on loan, so many people with normal speakers said it added life and loved it.

Myself and a mate tested it and we could clearly hear the distortion that was being produced through my speakers another mate actually measured the distortion it was producing, and my speakers was clearly reproducing it.

The truth is with hifi gear if your used to listening to say an average hi fi sound you may not always appreciate a better system

But if your used to hearing a better system the average system is obvious to you.. hope that makes sense.

A recent example was just before the wam show, I bought amy whitehouse's back to black cd. I have a good solid state amp that get used as a daily play with my big red speakers. There where a few peaks on her voice that sounded harsh, changing to my valve amp a lot more detail and lifelikeness came through and her voice sounded clean as it should

It was the first time I heard a CD that upset my solid state amp. It would have been easy to blame the recording or the speakers,  the knowledge I've gained building amps and speakers this last few years help me recognise a lot more than I did 20 years ago.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Iceman 16 said:

Can you give an example of a system or speakers in particular?

It's been a while since I last went to a show or demo. I remember being positively impressed by an all TAD Reference system with the Ones.

My current reference is a friend's system consisting of a highly modified 338ESD or PD-91 or his own DAC, his own transistor amplifier and a pair of modified 801Fs. Listening to it for the first time was a mind blowing experience and has convinced me that everything does matter even if the degree of influence varies massively depending on the element involved. Unlike most commercial electronics the amplifier has been a work-in-progress, suffering constant development for almost two decades. The level dedication, research and experimentation invested in the system would have made it commercially inviable.

In my experience there's only so much that commercial electronic equipment can offer. Speakers are a more complicated matter though.

Edited by tuga

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I think you all good folks are fortunate enough to return to your hifi every evening. I have to wait for 4 months to do that. Iam presently listening to some edifier 2.1 computer speaker system on my work station on the boat. Sounded gross on first listen, when I first left home. Now Iam enjoying it for 12 hrs a day. So ears and taste adjust as per availability and circumstances . It is the just the track that matters in the end. Not the system :)

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1 hour ago, newlash09 said:

I think you all good folks are fortunate enough to return to your hifi every evening. I have to wait for 4 months to do that. Iam presently listening to some edifier 2.1 computer speaker system on my work station on the boat. Sounded gross on first listen, when I first left home. Now Iam enjoying it for 12 hrs a day. So ears and taste adjust as per availability and circumstances . It is the just the track that matters in the end. Not the system :)

You spend a terrifying amount on hifi you hardly listen to then! Although I guess it means you enjoy it all the more when you get the chance :).

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2 minutes ago, MartinC said:

You spend a terrifying amount on hifi you hardly listen to then! Although I guess it means you enjoy it all the more when you get the chance :).

Hi MartinC...Thanks for your kind words. 

I really do look forward to get home. And listen to my system. You are very very right there sir. And I feel the money spent is well worth the pleasure I derive there :)

Iam somehow weird , that after I reach home, driving from my supposedly high fidelity system to my dad's place which is just 20 mins away , I still enjoy listening to the same tracks on my Harman kardon sound sticks there. They were my first hifi purchase ever, and pondered for ever before splurging 130 pounds on them . So maybe something about hanging around with my dad listening to music  or my ears or my love for music I really don't know :D

But I definitely know that Iam one bloke who can enjoy a track anywhere on any system. And nothing is ever a downgrade for me as long as the track itself is good. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, newlash09 said:

Hi MartinC...Thanks for your kind words. 

I really do look forward to get home. And listen to my system. You are very very right there sir. And I feel the money spent is well worth the pleasure I derive there :)

Iam somehow weird , that after I reach home, driving from my supposedly high fidelity system to my dad's place which is just 20 mins away , I still enjoy listening to the same tracks on my Harman kardon sound sticks there. They were my first hifi purchase ever, and pondered for ever before splurging 130 pounds on them . So maybe something about hanging around with my dad listening to music  or my ears or my love for music I really don't know :D

But I definitely know that Iam one bloke who can enjoy a track anywhere on any system. And nothing is ever a downgrade for me as long as the track itself is good. 

I totally get it. My system, whilst in a different league to yours, makes me grin every day...

However, I can quite happily sit in my garden, smashing out a BBQ for family and friends, with a couple of tinnies, and groove out to my Sony SRS-X55 Bluetooth thingemyjig (which is reserved for garden duties) -whilst this is nowhere near hifi, it has bass, sounds respectable for a tiny Bluetooth box and when you chuck on an awesome tune the feet start tapping...

It’s all about the music. 😀

Edited by Amormusic
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16 minutes ago, Amormusic said:

I totally get it. My system, whilst in a different league to yours, makes me grin every day...

However, I can quite happily sit in my garden, smashing out a BBQ for family and friends, with a couple of tinnies, and groove out to my Sony SRS-X55 Bluetooth thingemyjig (which is reserved for garden duties) -whilst this is nowhere near hifi, it has bass, sounds respectable for a tiny Bluetooth box and when you chuck on an awesome tune the feet start tapping...

It’s all about the music. 😀

Exactly sir... music is in the track, and the ambience and the mood. Notihng to do with what box it's playing off :)

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5 hours ago, newlash09 said:

Exactly sir... music is in the track, and the ambience and the mood. Notihng to do with what box it's playing off :)

True within reason .. but my old PC is not good (I plug in earphones) - in the conservatory the missus was complaining about the speakers taking up too much room so I spent the exorbitant amount of £25 on a pair of Canon S35s which sit on the window sill right in the corners .. sound pretty crap compared to the main system but once your ears become used to them and the fact you can sit anywhere and get some sort of stereo image they make quite a nice sort of sound allowing you to enjoy the music if you are reading or summat.  You would never sit down to just listen to music on them though (and I will get the Systym 931s back in that system one day soon). 

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I think your understanding increases. I don’t think it has to be an upward spiral of quality and cost.  My current system is about a quarter of the value of the previous one and I think I’m happier with it. It’s a bit of a journey.

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To the OP

Yes, standards do and should go up as you upgrade. But -

They should go up before you upgrade.

By educating yourself and by listening to better kit you understand what better sound is and what kit sounds better and then you upgrade to such kit.

Upgrading without understanding is likely to lead you to confusion and moving in circles while loosing hard earned money.

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Yes...as long as you understand that spending more money, doesn't necessarily bring more enjoyment...in fact the opposite can happen.

Not only, as Alma says, do you need to understand what better sound is like....but you need to understand your own taste and what kit achieves it.

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