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Old 16th January 2011, 09:18 AM   #21
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The simple answer is:-

TAKE YOUR EARS SHOPPING.

If you can't hear the difference, don't buy it.

At the Hi-End it's not just a simple matter of plugging together the basic concept components CD, AMP, SPEAKERS as each has its own characteristics and can influence the final result.

I've got Arcam CD36 (mid range), DIY A700 Amp (ML Clone) with B&W 683's. Using Chord Interconnects it is a VERY NICE setup for around the 4500 mark.
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Old 16th January 2011, 10:02 AM   #22
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Some high end audio such as cd and dvd players are just ordenary consumer products thats been put into fancy aluminum cases.

I've seen a web site about that. Same thing with this Grado brand, their headphone amps turned out to be some cheap components like some opamp and a few resistors potted with epoxy into a block of wood with those ununscrewable security screws.
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Old 16th January 2011, 10:07 AM   #23
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I think there is a huge psychological effect in hi fi, whereby even a technically-minded cynic like myself is automatically swayed by beautiful hardware and exotic materials. We hear what we expect to hear.

I once set up an experiment to compare Minidisc and a nice CD player. Releasing 'pause' on both at the same moment I was able to switch the amp between them and listen to the difference on headphones. I got the two sources perfectly synchronised first time and I could switch between them silently. I heard a clear difference, and Minidisc was disappointingly bad. It was only afterwards that I realised that my headphones had been plugged into the CD player all along. I had fooled myself perfectly, despite my pretensions of setting up some sort of 'scientific' experiment.

Ever since, I have been extremely cynical about hearing differences between pieces of equipment, but at the same time I enjoy suspending my disbelief and going along with the delusion like everyone else. I would never bet that I could hear the difference, but I have an idea that amplifiers shouldn't have tone controls or even source selector switches - particularly electronic ones - and shouldn't have fuses or relay contacts in series with the speakers. I know that op amps are superior to discrete circuitry, but I still have an idea at the back of my mind that they are not as 'pure' as a couple of transistors soldered down on a PCB.
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Old 16th January 2011, 10:39 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tekko View Post
Some high end audio such as cd and dvd players are just ordenary consumer products thats been put into fancy aluminum cases.

I've seen a web site about that. Same thing with this Grado brand, their headphone amps turned out to be some cheap components like some opamp and a few resistors potted with epoxy into a block of wood with those ununscrewable security screws.
If you parallel up a pair of Hi-End Op-Amps with a decent PSU you will be competing with 2000 Headphone amps. If you take care with the PCB you will be astounded with the result.
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Old 16th January 2011, 10:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperTop View Post
I think there is a huge psychological effect in hi fi, whereby even a technically-minded cynic like myself is automatically swayed by beautiful hardware and exotic materials. We hear what we expect to hear.

I once set up an experiment to compare Minidisc and a nice CD player. Releasing 'pause' on both at the same moment I was able to switch the amp between them and listen to the difference on headphones. I got the two sources perfectly synchronised first time and I could switch between them silently. I heard a clear difference, and Minidisc was disappointingly bad. It was only afterwards that I realised that my headphones had been plugged into the CD player all along. I had fooled myself perfectly, despite my pretensions of setting up some sort of 'scientific' experiment.

Ever since, I have been extremely cynical about hearing differences between pieces of equipment, but at the same time I enjoy suspending my disbelief and going along with the delusion like everyone else. I would never bet that I could hear the difference, but I have an idea that amplifiers shouldn't have tone controls or even source selector switches - particularly electronic ones - and shouldn't have fuses or relay contacts in series with the speakers. I know that op amps are superior to discrete circuitry, but I still have an idea at the back of my mind that they are not as 'pure' as a couple of transistors soldered down on a PCB.
During my search for the ultimate "Affordable" amplifier I was using a pair of B&W DM603s3 speakers. Eventually I found that the mid-range was lacking, I could have spent thousands on improving a signal that the speakers were incapable of reproducing.

I've now bought a pair of B&W DM683's which employ the lessons that they learnt from their 33000 Nautilus Range.

The two ends of the audio loop. INPUT and OUTPUT are far more importatnt than the bit in the middle. However the AMPLIFIER does play its own vital role.

Excuse my language but if you amplify S**T you will get louder S**T.

If you can't sing (speakers) then don't try to be a choir boy.

DIY'ing speakers is a very fine art. I do not suppose that there may be some very fine DIY speakers out there but the experimenting and results can be very hit and miss.

Last edited by Andy5112405; 16th January 2011 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 16th January 2011, 11:31 AM   #26
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I managed to find that grado thing: ecp.cc
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Old 16th January 2011, 11:53 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy5112405 View Post
I've now bought a pair of B&W DM683's which employ the lessons that they learnt from their 33000 Nautilus Range.
It may be that you've fallen victim to some of the BS that surrounds hifi in general The Nautilus speaker came out in the mid 1990s. The first range of speakers (800 series) that employed the lessons learned there came out at the end of that decade. So your DM603s3 certainly employed some of those lessons.

Quote:
DIY'ing speakers is a very fine art. I do not suppose that there may be some very fine DIY speakers out there but the experimenting and results can be very hit and miss.
Rather ironically, the B&W 'Matrix' innovation was a DIY job, in that the designer did it in his spare time. His boss at the time decided it wasn't worth devoting the company's effort towards.
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Old 16th January 2011, 12:09 PM   #28
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AVE...

I have a question: how many of you can hear the difference between THD 1%, 0.1% and 0.01%? How many of you believe that GainClone made of high-end parts will sound better than GainClone made of parts salvaged from Unitra ZRK M9108 cassette tape player (made in Poland circa 1986)?
If any of you can hear the difference, then you are hearing it with your wallets...

We call it audiovoodoo...

Nordost CBIT-1 cable burner. It's supposed to make sound better by changing the molecular structure of cables with special signals. It used to cost 1200USD...

How about expensive power cords: prices ranging from 100USD up to 2500USD and more. Some people believe that high-end audio power cord will change the sound of whole system. But what with thousands miles of ordinary copper and aluminum cables that are between the power generator and wall socket?

Some more hardcore power cord related stuff:
Click the image to open in full size.
Some idiot bought this:
Click the image to open in full size.

How about a tool to demagnetize your CD's and DVD's? Furutech RD-2 will make your digital media better sounding and looking by removing all magnetic fields from CD's and DVD's. You can buy it here...

You also don't need to play with vacuum tubes and high voltages to make tube sound. Just buy Tube-O-Lator and make your solid state amps and chip amps sound "tube-ish". How it works, I don't even dare to guess. Fortunately the producer provided detailed description. It used to cost 59EUR...

You read about demagnetizing cables, right? Now let's demagnetize the whole audio system with this special signal generator: Gryphon Exorcist.
Click the image to open in full size.
It costs only 230USD...
Review here...

There is more stuff like that, sold to the idiots, who will buy just anything to improve the sound in their minds. This is typical for people who are listening with their wallets...
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Old 16th January 2011, 12:10 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
It may be that you've fallen victim to some of the BS that surrounds hifi in general The Nautilus speaker came out in the mid 1990s. The first range of speakers (800 series) that employed the lessons learned there came out at the end of that decade. So your DM603s3 certainly employed some of those lessons.



Rather ironically, the B&W 'Matrix' innovation was a DIY job, in that the designer did it in his spare time. His boss at the time decided it wasn't worth devoting the company's effort towards.
As I said. TAKE YOUR EARS SHOPPING.

I love the sound, isn't that what we are all striving towards.
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Old 16th January 2011, 12:10 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperTop View Post
I think there is a huge psychological effect in hi fi, whereby even a technically-minded cynic like myself is automatically swayed by beautiful hardware and exotic materials. We hear what we expect to hear.

I once set up an experiment to compare Minidisc and a nice CD player. Releasing 'pause' on both at the same moment I was able to switch the amp between them and listen to the difference on headphones. I got the two sources perfectly synchronised first time and I could switch between them silently. I heard a clear difference, and Minidisc was disappointingly bad. It was only afterwards that I realised that my headphones had been plugged into the CD player all along. I had fooled myself perfectly, despite my pretensions of setting up some sort of 'scientific' experiment.

Ever since, I have been extremely cynical about hearing differences between pieces of equipment, but at the same time I enjoy suspending my disbelief and going along with the delusion like everyone else. I would never bet that I could hear the difference, but I have an idea that amplifiers shouldn't have tone controls or even source selector switches - particularly electronic ones - and shouldn't have fuses or relay contacts in series with the speakers. I know that op amps are superior to discrete circuitry, but I still have an idea at the back of my mind that they are not as 'pure' as a couple of transistors soldered down on a PCB.
Refreshing to hear an honest, well written viewpoint for a change
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