Speaker guy vs Amplifier guy

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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.
 
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).
 
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
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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
 
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.
 
....

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.
 
Absolutely the same here. This also applies to sources. I pick a CD player by features now and neither by values in the data sheet nor by auditions. Comparably, it just doesn't matter anymore.
There are differences.

I compared a :

marantz cd17mk2
philips dvd recorder
24bit usb soundcard

I used the same song al where plaing the same time and just switch the selector.
What was easy to hear, the with and the height of the sound-stage changed. Also the maranzt was sounding the best but a bit woolly.

There are a lot of small influences that can make the sound poorer. Although it is digital the analogue circuit is influenced by power supply also type capasitors amplifier layout printed cicuitboard make all little differences.

But the biggest fault is sure caused by the speaker.

impulse behaviour
harmonic distortion
Of axes behaviour
poor Linearity
 
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A good point, especially when you consider that 10.000$ CD players contains almost the same components inside as 50$ no-name DVD players, and with LESS features.
I meant to mention "look" as a criterion as well. So in total you pay 9950 bugs for "look" and less features :p
All this good money is better spent for drivers and x-overs (and tools cost a lot !).
 
Hey, those yellow and black wires are expensive. :p

the biggest fault is sure caused by the speaker
A system with dramatic differences in complexity across the components tends to be one where poor engineering choices were made. Audio has several such conventions. One of them being to address all those things in the speaker rather repartitioning the solution so the speaker's free to be optimized for things which have to be addressed in the speaker and the other issues handled elsewhere.
 
I like this thread.

I have played (guitar mostly) for over 40 years.

I was also lucky enough to have worked on leading edge electronics, the design of radio cards for 3G mobile phone base stations. I'm a qualified radio amateur and I have a degree in satellite communications. I'm not working now following a life-threatening illness.

I do most of my listening on what I consider to be an excellent system, comprising a TA2024 based amp, FR speakers in boxes I built myself, all driven by a DVD player/DTV receiver of no particular distinction which feeds through the TV. I still haven't finished rebuilding a broken sub I got from a colleague.

Modern music systems are very good in most instances, and cost very little. The weakest link is the speaker. Good, modern in-ear headphones are practically beyond reproach, other than in terms of comfort.

I feel that people who obsess over their systems, particularly amplifiers and sources do so because of a lack of fulfilment in other areas of their lives. It's good fun to build an amplifier yourself, but the significance ends there: fun, and a sense of achievement.

Most musicians focus on the important thing, the music. That's why many are not that interested in the playback system, because it has to be pretty bad to make it impossible to enjoy the music. Pretty bad indeed.

That's not to say that improvements in systems should not be sought after, but the important ones are cost, portability, size, capacity, convenience... not quality any more. To spend thousands of dollars on a system for personal or domestic use is crazy.

It's not what DIY is about either, in my opinion.

w
 
I do speaker design for living.
For many year ago we worked with a speaker design and have just switched amplifier from Dynamic Precision (from Norway) to at that time well tested Adcom power amplifier. And we was tweaking crossover and after 2 hour we ended up with nothing! Than we switched back to our D.P amplifier and than found out that with the Adcom we listen more to the amplifier than the speaker. And as a speaker designer that doesn't make any sense.
So after that we always design speaker with very good amplifier. But you must always in the final end test the speaker with amplifier that match the price point for the speaker.
 
Hey Speak- who pays for that kind of thing "for a living?"

Built speakers first which got me into electronics. Did not expect my speakers to be great but did know they could not be "that bad." Testing power amps showed they were "that bad." Now it is the entire system with custom everything, D/A for CD, my phono cartridge for vinyl, interconnect is off the shelf video studio cable, with custom speaker wire. My drivers, my preamp, my power amp, my crossovers, and so on, all mine or custom made for me. Solved my problem and got me to good sound! YEA! :)
 
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.

Very interesting topic ...... i have noticed such myself .......

There are differences.

I compared a :

marantz cd17mk2
philips dvd recorder
24bit usb soundcard

I used the same song al where plaing the same time and just switch the selector.
What was easy to hear, the with and the height of the sound-stage changed. Also the maranzt was sounding the best but a bit woolly.

There are a lot of small influences that can make the sound poorer. Although it is digital the analogue circuit is influenced by power supply also type capasitors amplifier layout printed cicuitboard make all little differences.

But the biggest fault is sure caused by the speaker.

impulse behaviour
harmonic distortion
Of axes behaviour
poor Linearity

Agree with the you here , the speakers are the weakest link.

I find it funny, that it is always those with an assortment of mis-mash equipment usually voicing there is no difference ...:rolleyes:


50$ DVD-player vs mega-bucks CD-player....

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Bad example ...

This is not indicative of the " hi-end" industry on a whole ...
 
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