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Old 24th January 2009, 07:48 PM   #1
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Default What is the most critical part of a system?

Wondering what peoples opinions are and what I should invest most of my money in?

Speakers?

Amp?

Preamp?

Testing?
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Old 24th January 2009, 08:15 PM   #2
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IM not so HO:

1) Speakers and their environment. They have the largest potential to affect the sound. If you are buying/building a CD player, amp and speakers try not to spend less than 50% on the speakers.

2) Source. If what's coming out is bad it doesn't matter how good the rest is. Mind you I've heard some 200 dollar CD players that didn't bother me at all.

3) Amplifier. I really can't offer advice because the persons I trust the most to guide me don't agree with one another. On one side, don't be afraid to buy an amplifier with more watts than your speakers handle. Only Saturday night beer muffs will ever cause a problem. The other side says that amplifiers designed for less watts sound better than high powered ones when used within their abilities. Never mind the different topologies. That's why I can't offer advice. Hang out with some of these guys and see if you don't come away as confused as me.

Me? I like big speakers, big amplifiers and outdoor listening so my opinion may differ a wee from others.
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Old 24th January 2009, 08:21 PM   #3
doorman is offline doorman  Canada
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A tad cool for outdoor listening just now, no?!
Don
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Old 24th January 2009, 08:44 PM   #4
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The most critical part of any system is the listener.

You should spend most of your effort and money on the choice of speakers. They govern the amount of amplification you require.

Amplifiers and sources are 10-a-penny. If your speakers are reasonably efficient a T-amp and the right iPod or DVD player will give a great sound, but limited by the quality of the speakers.

The speakers are overwhelmingly the primary limiting factor in any reasonably competent modern system.

w
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Old 25th January 2009, 12:51 AM   #5
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so spending 50% on speakers, it seems that you can build a full range speaker for $300, is it reasonable to say that you can build a good diy amp for around the same price?
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Old 25th January 2009, 01:17 AM   #6
SY is offline SY  United States
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You can build a good one cheaper. An excellent one will, sadly, cost more, but the differences are so much smaller than rooms, speakers, and sources that it's diminishing returns.
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Old 25th January 2009, 02:04 AM   #7
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This is not a simple question to answer...

It is one thing talking about how much to spend if you are doing it all at retail, it is totally another when you are diying part of your system...

The room is probably the most important part, but no part of a system is non-critical,

Speakers (and cartridges if you have analog source) have the most affect of the personality of the system, but if you are diying you can put together a higly musical speaker system for not a whole lot (you can aslo spend a lot for something not so swell -- witness Chops latest epiphany 00 $5k in aprts for a multiway, has been laid waste (in his opinion) by a FR costing 1/20th of that). With my penchant for building speakers & amps, i find that budget wise source gets the greatest consideration (if you don't get the information off the disk no amount of quality in the rest of the syetm is going to repair things).

It is also important that components are synergistic, this is particularily true of amp & speakers. They should really be considered as joined at the hio, You can't choose one without knowing the other,

Luck and scrounging skill also play a role in how the budget gets allocated,

dave
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Old 25th January 2009, 02:18 AM   #8
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Ears

and if that's a problem, try Q-Tips

Music helps, try Bach, Schubert or Orlando Gibbons
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Old 25th January 2009, 02:25 AM   #9
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So what is the best method of relating speakers and amps? Is it a trial and error type of relation, or are there "rules" as to what sounds best paired together?
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Old 25th January 2009, 02:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by SY
You can build a good one (amp) cheaper
And with careful scrounging a real good amp (of limited power mind you) can be made for that. My main amps largely due to essentially free quality german iron cost <$150 including all Solen poly smoothing caps.

This amp has embarassed a lot of expensive sore-bought kit.

dave
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