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Is neutrality really the same as accuracy?

Posted 11th October 2015 at 07:41 PM by cspirou

One thing I hear from objective audiophiles is that amps should strive to be as neutral as possible because you should only hear what the record producer intended for you to hear.

Philosophically I do agree that I should hear what the artist meant for me to hear. However how do you know that the album was recorded while listening to a similarly neutral amp? Recording to a master tape usually doesn't include the amp powering the monitors so whatever they heard through their amp and speakers isn't captured on the tape. In order to really hear what was in the studio, you would need the same amp and the same set to speakers to listen to what they listened to. So if my home setup has a miracle amp and speaker that truly is ruler flat from 1hz-1MHz and 0.00001% THD, I probably still am hearing things differently then the artist because they probably used an average monitor that has -10db at 30Hz.

So how important is it really that an amp be neutral?
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Old

Why do I need a preamp?

Posted 14th May 2015 at 07:22 AM by cspirou

One of the things that confused me a bit when I started this hobby was the distinction between a preamp and an amp. Looking up info on a preamp usually was met with a definition that a preamp controls volume and switches inputs, which never made sense to me because my amp always had volume control and multiple inputs.

Well it turns out that what I (and most people) considered an amp was actually an integrated amp. It never really made that much sense to me to separate the functions in a separate chassis and I would roll my eyes seeing preamps worth at least as much as the price of a good amp. Discussions about the different sound of a preamp are a bit weird for me too. While I don't doubt that different preamps sound different, it seems like people are just separating components to do some mix and matching.

However after being in this hobby for a bit of time I have discovered some solid reasons to have a separate preamp(besides wanting to separate everything)...
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Old

Building a vacuum tube amp vs a solid state amp

Posted 22nd April 2015 at 11:35 AM by cspirou

This is my article about comparing vacuum tube amps vs SS amps. There are more than enough places that compare there two types from the aspect of sound. I will avoid that and only concentrate on the differences from a DIY aspect.

Solid state amp pros

*Transistors are cheaper than vacuum tubes
*PCBs are available for many amps
*Transistors are usually more reliable and last longer
*power supplies use lower voltages than tube supplies and therefore are much safer. also no need for a separate heater supply
*usually don't need output transformers
*chassis work is typically limited to front and rear panel

Solid state amp cons

*Often necessary to buy a large heatsink
*If no PCB is available, designing and making your own PCB can be cumbersome
*If you don't use a PCB, point-to-point wiring is very difficult
*Need to be careful with electrostatic discharge. Easy to fry a transistor if you aren't...
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Old

Why I DIY

Posted 10th November 2014 at 11:46 AM by cspirou

This entry probably would have made more sense as my first post.

From my observations it seems like most people persue this from a cost/benefit standpoint. Companies will cut corners a lot of the time in order to control costs. The more expensive products don't cut corners but the result is a higher price. The DIY enthusiast is willing to put the time in that many companies won't in order to get superior sound. No matter what though it seems like the end goal is to have the best sounding system given the resources you have.

Personally though I don't do this hobby as pursuit for the perfect system, even though that is my end goal. I am more interested in building my own system from an educational stand point. My first love has always been science. Figuring out puzzles is what I really enjoy. So while I love music, what I enjoy most are the calculations and the planning involved to make this a reality.

The reason I chose audio is because a lot of the...
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Old

CD is better than vinyl, which is why vinyl sounds better than CD

Posted 2nd November 2014 at 01:40 PM by cspirou
Updated 10th December 2014 at 08:53 AM by cspirou (Added info about 24 bit audio)

For my first blog post I wanted to write about digital vs analog sources, or more specifically CD vs vinyl. The title seems contradictory but hopefully my thesis will be clear by the end of this article. I will mainly be emphasizing dynamic range.

First I want to say that from a technical stand point, the CD is superior to vinyl. The average dynamic range of vinyl is 80dB while CD is capable of 150dB. There are also many issues with recording on LP vs CD which I won't elaborate on because I believe the following article does a pretty good job.

https://www.vox.com/2014/4/19/5626058...etter-than-cds

Yet there are many audiophiles that continue to claim that records sound better than CDs. Are these people brainwashed? Is it because an LP system is introducing a pleasing form of distortion?

Well I am here to claim that these audiophiles are not wrong. I don't just mean in a way to argue about subjective experience but...
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