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Old 10th November 2010, 12:40 AM   #1
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Question Speaker guy vs Amplifier guy

I find it interesting that prominent speaker designers use simplistic/cheap amps. SL with his ATI and Geddes with his Pioneer as example.

Whereas keen amp builders seems to utilise "whatever" speakers like our Brazilian Carlos in his youtube videos. Or Peter Daniel

I use cheap amps myself (gainclone, tripath) and indeed more interested about speakers and acoustics.
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Old 10th November 2010, 01:02 AM   #2
CLS is offline CLS  Taiwan
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Hi,

I guess it's simply because a person have limited time and energy, so he/she can't do everything at the same time.

I build speakers and amps myself. I've designed and built boxes, OB, and done some integrations of horns. I've also designed some BLH (and built by others). I've built and modded tube, sand, T, chip amps. I admire various strengths of them and try my best to get their best in my applications. So many things to do and so little time (and energy), I can only do one at a time. It's already exhausting!

Also, what I've done are just very shallow, so I manage to get in touch with various fields I'm interested. For those deep researchers you mentioned, I think they are pioneers in their fields and need higher degree of concentration than ordinary DIYers (like me).
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Old 10th November 2010, 01:13 AM   #3
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Yes, not so much engineering at the level of the entire playback chain. Kind of a shame as the focus on individual components tends to mean the most significant opportunities for improvement are in the integration between components.
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Old 10th November 2010, 03:57 AM   #4
blue934 is offline blue934  Canada
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not sure if it's relative, but i've seen this correlation between musicians and audio. the only thing i can play is the cd player yet i am on a constant quest for 'better' sound. i am friends with a family of five incredibly talented musicians, two of which have made or played on album productions but they listen to music on the crappiest systems you can imagine. go figure.

david
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Old 10th November 2010, 04:02 AM   #5
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I think it depends on the musicians. In my case musicianship got me into DIY as it made me a more critical listener and I started demanding more from playback. As another example, I had a great lab partner back in engineering school who was a lead guitarist and wasn't satisfied with his tone. So he was basically doing a masters in tube amps.
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Old 10th November 2010, 05:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twest820 View Post
I think it depends on the musicians. In my case musicianship got me into DIY as it made me a more critical listener and I started demanding more from playback. As another example, I had a great lab partner back in engineering school who was a lead guitarist and wasn't satisfied with his tone. So he was basically doing a masters in tube amps.
Interesting. I'm the reverse ! Electronics was the hobby that made me try different recordings. If it wasnt for these electronics I wouldnt even know about jazz at the pawn shop lol.
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Old 10th November 2010, 06:16 AM   #7
rabbitz is offline rabbitz  Australia
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I don't think it matters as long as the partnering equipment is a reference point of reasonably good sound quality and you are very familiar with it's traits. That's all that's required when you're assessing a design. It's hard to focus on a design if also playing around with partnering equipment as we need a datum.

When I design loudspeakers I use an reference point amp which is good but nothing special, but I am very familiar with it's sonic capabilities.

Same goes when building power amps and pre amps as I use a speaker that is also nothing special but is a great reference point using P13 / S2905 drivers and again very familiar with it's sonic capabilities.

The important part is to get it all working as a system in the final application which can take some tweaking.... that's the tricky part as system matching can be a real problem and very surprising.
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Old 10th November 2010, 06:33 AM   #8
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Interesting that it seems possible to switch from one to the other.

I set off on speakers, and have now ended up with some Fostex FE126eNs, and a subwoofer using cheapy drivers. Once I've upgraded the subwoofer, I expect I'll move on to amplifiers (already built a 6EM7 SET, and a Tripath amp, but those were more experiments...). I also play guitar (wasn't happy with the sound) so I've modified drivers (a fabric dustcap gives a much smoother sound), played with output transformers, replaced the output stage and PSU for something capable of driving 4ohm loads until the volts run out. I expect I'll be posting in the amplifier section within a few months, even if it is with amateurish questions...

Chris
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Old 10th November 2010, 08:52 AM   #9
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I used to be both "guys", building large class-A amps and large boxed speakers. After discovering OB's, active digital XO and decent class-D amps, I'm now simply a speaker guy.... I found out that speakers and how the integrate into the room is far far far far more important than amps, especially with active speakers.
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Old 10th November 2010, 09:20 AM   #10
CLS is offline CLS  Taiwan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue934 View Post
....

i am friends with a family of five incredibly talented musicians, two of which have made or played on album productions but they listen to music on the crappiest systems you can imagine. go figure.

david
Might be related, recently I read a book of interviews with pianists. Active and famous pianists of nowadays around the world. In the book, many of the pianists hate the trend of the obsession with small details in modern recordings. Those disliked details are not about music -- the small sounds by the operations of those valves of wind or brass instruments, squeaky pedals... noises like that.

The world is largely driven by commerce. Marketing rules. Hi-Fi and recording industry are no exception. People like new experience, which is not necessary to be good at the same time. Small (or exaggerated) detail sounds are new to many people, so it's good for marketing. (But not for music.)

Musicians care for music. The boss cares for marketing. The boss wins.

Some outstanding musicians even hate recording because of this. What a double loss


Fortunately there're still some good things going on. So here we are, enjoying music with our own works (DIY speakers and amp...). I myself appreciate good music and good stereo. When 2 of them presenting at the same time, it's more than doubly good.

It's a pity that some musicians hate recording and/or use crappy stereo. I think they shouldn't give up so soon.
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