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Old 29th October 2010, 01:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Professor smith View Post
Even if the question is moot and even if i cant afford $5000 the question can still be posed and answered no? I am curious.
And how do we make precise this notion of being better?
I don't think the prof. is alone in struggling with notions of clear decision making based on ill-defined parameters like "sound quality". Every formally educated bone in our bodies will rail at the proposition that we should throw out the books, go alternate and let whimsy pave the way to our sonic fulfillment.

OK, a little excessive but it is clear to me that some folks cannot or will not make assessments of quality in their product choices. The profusion of popular magazines jammed with opinions to tell us why we should like this or that product over any others says something, I think. Considering the zillions of new and developing products in the electronic gizmo field, it's not surprising that public opinion and thus sales swings more with the editorial than any actual product design and manufacturing wizardry. That goes double, at least, for sound qualityI

I note with some interest how one poster in John Cordell's book thread simply said "Tell us why we should buy your book, Bob" That after hunreds of posts with introductory explanation and rational argument and comparisons with other books already!

My 2c...Over to you Prof. (BTW, how'd you get that appellation?. My family would use it against me as a derogatory term suggesting that I professed much and did little about it! I trust yours has more complimentary origins.)
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Old 29th October 2010, 08:19 PM   #22
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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Originally Posted by Ian Finch View Post
I note with some interest how one poster in John Cordell's book thread simply said "Tell us why we should buy your book, Bob" That after hunreds of posts with introductory explanation and rational argument and comparisons with other books already!
jeez, people obsess and analyse til the world ends - sometimes you just gotta go with your feelings on this. Hundreds of posts about a book, my gosh, with so many other things in life to worry about. I'm simply gobsmacked.
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Old 29th October 2010, 11:58 PM   #23
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Originally Posted by Ian Finch View Post

I don't think the prof. is alone in struggling with notions of clear decision making based on ill-defined parameters like "sound quality". Every formally educated bone in our bodies will rail at the proposition that we should throw out the books, go alternate and let whimsy pave the way to our sonic fulfillment.
You may well believe in ("clear decision-making based on ill-defined parameters like "sound quality") but I certainly don't. If it gets your foot tapping more then you are getting more enjoyment - so that's the one to go for! IE. enjoyment is what it's all about, IMO ... you may have to miss out on some aspect, with the toe-tapping component, but if you enjoy it more, you'll cheerfully sacrifice that missing aspect.

It may not be "better" than another component - eg. it may not have as much bass or the treble may not extend to 40K ... but what, for example, is the use of speakers which are flat from 20Hz to 20KHz if they leave you cold when you're listening to them?

BTW, I'd be interested to know what clear parameters you used to select your wife (if you have one). Same situation, IMO - she might look great and have a lot of money ... but if she doesn't stir your heart then there's not much point in being with her.

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Andy
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Old 30th October 2010, 08:35 AM   #24
AKSA is offline AKSA  Australia
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Ian,

Let me make clear a number of points here.

1. Any good sounding, reliable amp will abide faithfully to the laws of physics.
2. I was trained as a Science Teacher, and studied quite a bit of electronics, so I'm not about to carouse off to the dark side.
3. The irony of the psychology of numerical appraisal (as first proposed by Laurence Pomeroy, designer of the first Daimler Double 6 in 1926) is that once a measurement system, in fact ANY measurement system, is marketed, it is seized upon as the only legitimate way to assess anything. THD has been cynically abused for years as a figure relevant to sound quality, and in truth most of the legit audio designers will tell you the correlation is poor at best, particularly under about 0.1%, below which any decently designed SS amp lies. And lie it does, too. There is so much more to it.
4. Any almost imperceptible deviation from the norm is always regarded by hard science as reverie on Fantasy Island, and ridicule soon follows. However, Tesla was laughed out of town for his wacky ideas, Edison had no formal training, Banting was regarded as an eccentric fool, and Oppenheimer finished his days prosecuted by government for dissenting views. All non-conformists, all brilliant men. I have designed some non-conventional amps in my time, a trivial contribution in the scheme of things, but if you think this is crossing to the dark side you are very much mistaken.
4. No one is forcing you to buy a NAKSA, or indeed any audio product. I do however concede that if it's an argument of ethics or engineering you want, you might be in for some entertainment!

Cheers,

Hugh
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Old 30th October 2010, 08:48 AM   #25
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Hmm..thanks Andy. I follow your sentiments fine but I think you are looking at chinks to pigeonhole me as a dreaded Objektivist there. Unfortunately, you just lucked out. Perhaps the quoted phrase was intimidating but I am actually on a fishing expedition here to find out where another's sympathies, doubts etc. really lie.

I hear your criterion for selection but though it has been cribbed across mags and forums for years now, I can't see that that it means anything. It would be no more vague to say that an amp should have magic sound. I played guitar for some years with a DIY valve amp that did take some beating and really set some feet to tapping but there's no way it would translate to a stereo version to play music through, nor even dream that the 10" quad array is going to be a good stereo speaker. It is cute imagery to describe an amplifier as having pace, rhythm and other unlikely qualities but I believe these arise from fancy or err...inducements rather than the obvious basis which is simply sound quality - i.e.The agglomeration of the original signal and all tonal contributions from the reproducing equipment. It just doesn't seem cool, to put it so bluntly though, does it?

Really O/T this, you know...I hope you don't really believe you selected your wife? A thousand evolutionists will turn in their graves at that notion! (no, wait; evolutionists don't believe in the afterlife!) Perhaps if you ask her how she selected you would be a more fruitful question and you may be surprised how objective some are or rather were in their decisions.
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Old 30th October 2010, 08:53 AM   #26
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Originally Posted by Ian Finch View Post

Really O/T this, you know...I hope you don't really believe you selected your wife? A thousand evolutionists will turn in their graves at that notion! (no, wait; evolutionists don't believe in the afterlife!) Perhaps if you ask her how she selected you would be a more fruitful question and you may be surprised how objective some are or rather were in their decisions.
Ha ha - touche! She had no chance to "select" me - I was so in lust, I rushed into her cave, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her to the church on time! (Nearly) 30 years later ... we're still together.

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Andy
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Old 30th October 2010, 12:58 PM   #27
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Hugh
Thanks for your reply too. Why do I get the feeling that you are responding to another post at another time by someone else? I can't see that my sympathies for a hesitant member should precipitate such bristling defences nor any prompts for chapter and verse of audio subjectivist doctrine, unless you have just been waiting for a fall guy, of course, and sure, I will be quite happy to oblige. Just don't jump on me for unfounded suspicion's sake nor expect thread visitors to abandon rationality at the forum door.

Re: Numeric appraisal
I did make a point about people seeking such in mags and forums to make their purchasing decisions for them. Did you mistakenly assume that I was approving of that trend? Beware of irrelevance in your points (4) since these guys did make it to the big time in hard science, otherwise we would not be discussing their achievements. (Ok, Edison employed hard scientists, lots of them). All you are in effect saying is that though prominent high achievers, they were subject to human failings and misrepresentations as indeed we all are. It beggars belief that anyone would contemplate anything but numerical quality descriptors in order to create the critical mass of say, a thermonuclear bomb as Oppenheimer's programs intended.

Your points (3) can only refer to marketing, but very old marketing since most mass-market audio products, good or bad haven't used "specsmanship" for many years. Check an amp. brochure: The focus is appearance inside and out with veiled references to the power "under the hood". I can't even find performance specs in some manuals left with me in recent years. Most quote the same THD figure: <.02% and that ranges From $100 specials to Hi-end $5000 + product. I think the manufacturers know which way the wind is blowing. What they have done about it is another matter.
Point (1) What? So do bad ones!
Point (2) On crossing to the dark side, I would not contemplate it either. I understand that the freight, internet and advertising rates are hellishly expensive and amps need retuning back in the the much cooler land of the living.
Point (5) I never got that impression, nor do I wish to do banter over the thin ice of relative subjective expressions. I consider these like some do religion...fleeting, intangible and often interesting only to me.
No, I'm not a schoolchild any more and will not readily bend to the masterly goad.
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Old 30th October 2010, 08:37 PM   #28
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Hello Ian

Yes, most mass-market audio products, good or bad, and most audio magazines reviews are just playing the big marketing game, but giving any specs will not say anything about how the amp will sound. Years ago it was the amps "specs war" and most was showing ultra low distortions figures but they was sounding cold and harsh.

But you Ian, how do you choses your audio gears ?

Bye

Gaetan

Last edited by gaetan8888; 30th October 2010 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 30th October 2010, 09:49 PM   #29
andyr is offline andyr  Australia
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Originally Posted by gaetan8888 View Post

But you Ian, how do you choses your audio gears ?

Gaetan
Gaetan, I think Ian has given you his "method" - see the first 2 paragraphs in post #21.

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Andy
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Old 30th October 2010, 10:08 PM   #30
AKSA is offline AKSA  Australia
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Ian,

Your tone was, to me, more than inquiring, I saw it as provocative. This is the NAKSA thread, would you not expect a 'bristling' response (a gross overstatement, you would know when I was 'bristling', and besides, I rarely respond to gross jibes these days!).

I'm not goading you, I would think this is unnecessary and indicates at least as much paranoia on your part as you see in me! However, if you see it as masterly, I'm a little surprised as I regard myself very differently to a master.

Neither of us is schoolboys. I'm sorry you got that impression, never my intention.

THD still dominates the technical literature and a good deal of the advertising. Read the latest technical authors on this stuff; it's the same quest for low THD, although more are now starting to examine each artefact in some detail, a promising development. Specsmanship is alive and well, cf. the Halcro.

As for mistaken assumptions, Ian, I did not read the entire thread, simply took your comments in local context. Did you mean differently?

Now, what is your point? Do you want to hear a NAKSA? I could arrange that. This would put paid to speculation; nothing like a private audition in one own system, eh?

Cheers,

Hugh
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