Free Shipping on All Orders 1-866-764-1801

Vist our Online Store

View Poll Results: Which components makes the most difference?

Voters
38. You may not vote on this poll
  • speakers

    29 76.32%
  • amp

    6 15.79%
  • source

    2 5.26%
  • preamp

    1 2.63%
  • wire/cables

    0 0%
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 48
  1. #1

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    1,853

    Default What equipment makes the most difference?

    Here's my take on what components are most important (descending order)
    1. speakers
    2. amplifier
    3. source
    4. preamp
    5. wire/cables

    A case in point was the last time I was at a hi-fi dealer. I listened to a pair of B&W Nautilus 805 speakers hooked up through a switchbox to a Sony ES receiver and entry-level ES CD changer! Even with that setup, the B&W's still sounded amazing.

    Aaron

  2. #2

    Member Sales Rating: (8)

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    11,499

    Default

    I think spot #1 is a tossup between speakers and amps. But if I have to give an edge it may be the amp. It is hard to get a bad amp to sound good with any speakers. In fact sometimes the better the speaker the worse they sound because of the unforgiving nature and clarity of the speaker. Dean's horns are a good example. On the other hand a really good amp can make bad speakers sound at least tolerable IMO. I agree in 3-5.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    493

    Default

    The most important component in the audio chain is the listening room. No individual component in your system has as much impact on the overall presentation as the room in which it is installed. You will never obtain peak performance from any component, regardless of cost, if this component is neglected.

  4. #4

    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    lookin' for fava beans and a nice chianti
    Posts
    12,608

    Default

    I concur with Aaron's assesment.

    Crappy speaks are crappy speaks nothing can change that. As you go through the list in descending order the differences become more subtle and the placebo effect becomes more pronounced.

    Troy
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  5. #5

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    17543
    Posts
    1,866

    Default

    speakers, followed closely by the amp...
    ...the fOrce is strong with this one.

  6. #6
    Polkie Wannabe
    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    kettering, ohio
    Posts
    295

    Default

    power cables:p
    Dean
    Quicksilver M-60 monoblocks - JM 200 Peach Linestage - Sony DVP-S9000ES - '03 modified Klipschorns

    "I'm sure it's better than it sounds."-- Mark Twain, when asked what he thought about Wagner's music

  7. #7
    Polkie Wannabe
    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    kettering, ohio
    Posts
    295

    Default

    what juice said
    Dean
    Quicksilver M-60 monoblocks - JM 200 Peach Linestage - Sony DVP-S9000ES - '03 modified Klipschorns

    "I'm sure it's better than it sounds."-- Mark Twain, when asked what he thought about Wagner's music

  8. #8

    Member Sales Rating: (40)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    18,401

    Default

    What dean and juice said, speaks above all.....

  9. #9

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    983

    Default

    Originally posted by dean/klipschead
    power cables:p
    Holy crap, don't EVEN get me started on that Dean ;)

    A well made amp should aleviate any fluctuations in current before it hit the audio portion. I don't need no stinking $300 POWER CABLE.

    Sigh.. hehehe

    - Steve

  10. #10

    Member Sales Rating: (40)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    18,401

    Default Power cable, schmower cable

    Before I did that, I'd pull the wire out of the wall, and solder it directly....skip the cord all together....

    Cheers,
    Russ

  11. #11

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Australia, Gold Coast, Queensland
    Posts
    218

    Thumbs up I am Lazy

    But, the truth is all of the above if you want your system to sound just right. Kind Regards Fabian
    The Wonder From Downunder

  12. #12

    Member Sales Rating: (17)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    12,054

    Default

    In my opinion the order is as follows after the room which is really #1. A piece of crap Bose can sound good in the right room.

    1: Amplifier
    2: Preamp
    3: Speakers
    4: Source
    5: Speaker cable
    6: Power conditioner
    7: Power cable
    8: Interconnects


    It's interesting but before I swapped around a lot of components I USED to think:

    1: Speakers
    2: Source
    3: Preamp
    4: Interconnects
    5: Speaker cable
    6: Amplifier

    Power conditioners and power cables? Huh?
    I guess I couldn't really hear anything until I got the Amp and Pre-amp right.
    madmax

  13. #13

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    1,853

    Default

    Good call on the room. I'm not sure that I'd rate it ahead of the speakers, though. Maybe.....

    Max:
    They don't call you MadMax for nothing!

    Aaron

  14. #14

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    231

    Default

    1. Ears
    2. Room
    3. Speakers
    4. Source [if you're an analog kind of guy]
    4a. Phono stage [if you're an analog kind of guy]
    4b. Phono leads [yadda, yadda]
    4c. Suspension/rack/isolation [yadda,yadda]
    5. Amp
    6. Preamp
    7. Source [if you're a 0/1 kinda guy]
    8. Suspension/rack/isolation
    9. Speaker Cable
    10. AC Mains/Outlets
    11.Power Cords
    12. Power conditioning
    13. Interconnects

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Madmax001,

    Thanks for the seconding my opinion on the room. It is the most important component of the entire audio system. I have heard systems (include the room) present Sarah M so I could visualize the exact spot where she was standing. On a different visit with the exact same components in a different room, I would not include any of these items on my shopping list. Would you buy any of these components based on the listening experience behind door number two?

    As for your current list, my experiencies would swap the order of 7 and 8.

    Most components have a fairly flat output. Rooms are not even close to matching this response.

    Setup techniques you read about are a good starting point. Try experimenting. If you have access to test discs and a SPL meter, try them to see just how much interaction you have between components and room. You will be suprised that your +-3db speakers you cherish and love produce a +7-15db output at your listening position. This is where I started. I was not hearing the frequencies that dipped to -15db.

    This is my informed opinion. I am tuning my room to get the most out of the entire system. It is much harder that you may think. The rewards have been priceless so far, better than any single component upgrade.
    Last edited by jmierzur; 04-10-2002 at 06:32 PM.

  16. #16

    Member Sales Rating: (17)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    12,054

    Default

    OK, I'll agree that 7 and 8 can be swapped in my original list. I was undecided on that one anyway. I also left out one of the areas I have been looking into recently which rlw brought up: Isolation. Isolating components can make a difference. I guess I would have to put it between 4 and 5 of my list. I would possibly raise it even higher but I'm not sure yet. That leaves me at:

    1: Amplifier
    2: Preamp
    3: Speakers
    4: Source
    5: Isolation
    6: Speaker cable
    7: Power conditioner
    8: Interconnects
    9: Power cable

  17. #17
    Banned
    Member Sales Rating: (1)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    2,452

    Default

    1. Brain
    2. Ears
    3. Amp
    4. Pre-amp
    5. Speakers
    6. Source
    7. Interconnects
    8. Power Conditioner
    9. Speaker Wire
    10. Power Wire

    Yes, room acoustics is very important too.
    Its difficult to place this in the list though.

    Don't forget the brain though. This is the critical
    element needed to make Polk speakers sound good
    and Klipsch sound like a fire engine woo-woo.

  18. #18

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Washington, D.C area
    Posts
    496

    Default

    SOURCE!!

    Are you kidding, even before the sound signal reaches your speakers, if it is distorted, horribly transfered, then it will of course sound horrible! I don't care what kind of amp, receiver, or speakers you have, if the source is crappy, then you will only get crap out of your nice amp, receiver or speakers.


    J B

  19. #19

    Member Sales Rating: (40)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    18,401

    Default Man, SPEAKERS....

    They are the single device which actually produces sounds for you to hear....

    I don't see how anything else can be MORE important....

    $30K of Krell mated to some Audiovox full rangers with whizzer cones.....

    Or the $5 Thrift store Sherwood receiver with Thiel 7.2's......

    I'll take the latter.....

    Interesting Topic, interesting responses.

    Cheers,
    Russ

  20. #20

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    1,853

    Default

    Russ, you're right. The example you state is what I was trying to get at with my Sony ES/Nautilus example. I think you guys are taking this question out of context. Let me restate the question:

    What single component is most responsible for creating a sound that is pleasing to you?

    Aaron

  21. #21

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Washington, D.C area
    Posts
    496

    Default

    Ohhh well I guess it is the speakers then, because that is what you actually hear. But I still stick by my CONTENT statement.
    J B

  22. #22

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    983

    Default

    Yea, content is important. The latest Britney album doesn't exactly have dynamic range ya know ;) hehehe

    - Steve

  23. #23
    Registered User
    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Lax01: No source component can compensate for a lousy recording. Period. That is out of your control. Most modern consumer source components produce the least amount of distoration in an audio system.

    RuSsMaN: Those are extreme examples and I doubt they would occur in the real world. Most consumer components (with few exceptions) are decent in their quality and output. Everyone has their own personal preferences/reasons when choosing a component.

    Aaron: The room is "most responsible for creating a sound that is pleasing to you". Are you sure that +-1db speakers produce a +-1db level over the entire frequency spectrum at your listening position? I find that impossible to believe.

    My intention is to share some of my experiences with everyone. This perspective change has made a dramatic impact. Keep an open mind when you hear of new ideas and evaluate for yourself. I have, and I believe that I have started an interesting journey with many rewards to come...

  24. #24

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Washington, D.C area
    Posts
    496

    Default

    I didn't mean the source component, I meant that actual source, like a CD or DVD. But you are right anyways, most present consumer source components like DVD players and CD players don't add to much distortion into the mix.

    Steve@3dai: I know where they put all of Britney's Dynamic range, if you know what I mean?
    J B

  25. #25

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    las vegas nv.
    Posts
    882

    Default

    1, speakers
    2, room
    3, amps
    4, source

    the weakest link makes the bad sound

  26. #26

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    1,853

    Default

    Are you sure that +-1db speakers produce a +-1db level over the entire frequency spectrum at your listening position? I find that impossible to believe.
    Did I say that? No.

    The room is "most responsible for creating a sound that is pleasing to you".
    The point is, a lousy speaker (and the rest of the system) will still sound bad no matter what kind of room you stick them in. It can only sound worse if the room is bad.

    Most people don't have the luxury to change their room, so they can only do their best to improve its acoustics. It also helps to choose a loudspeaker that is appropriate for the room size. Also, A room isn't a piece of stereo equipment.

    Aaron

  27. #27

    Member Sales Rating: (0)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Harrisburg, PA
    Posts
    1,853

    Default

    I've been thinking about this a bit and have decided that there are several perspectives from which to look at the question. Here are the two I came up with:

    1. You have $X to spend on a system, how would you divide the money among the components? In other words, on which component would you spend the most money? This component should be the one having the greatest sonic effects.

    2. You already have a system in place, what component upgrade will give you the greatest benefit for the money? (similar to question one, but the current level of equipment will dictate, to some extent, which component upgrade will bring the greatest benefit)

    The perspective I'm coming from is #1.

    Aaron

  28. #28

    Member Sales Rating: (7)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    lookin' for fava beans and a nice chianti
    Posts
    12,608

    Default

    while I agree that the room obviously has a lot to do with sound, it is also the one thing we probably have the least control over for a myriad of reasons. Other thing being, in Russ's two scenarios, the listening area is the one thing whose charactaristics are known and constant.

    Troy
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  29. #29

    Member Sales Rating: (17)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Northern Colorado
    Posts
    12,054

    Default

    My question for Aaron is "would a good loudspeaker placed in very bad room sound better than a poor speaker in an excellent room? And if the room is so bad, is it not cheaper to change the room around rather than spending whatever it costs for some of the better loudspeakers out there? No real answers here because either could be the case.
    If you consider the room as a component (it is a component of the sound) using scenerio #1 for $ spent it could end up being the cheapest upgrade, give the greatest benifit (if it is indeed bad) and offer the greatest sonic benifit.
    Maybe it is more the case of room/speaker matching?
    madmax

  30. #30

    Member Sales Rating: (40)

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    18,401

    Default The room....

    Lets elaborate here, perhaps I just have not come across a SUBSTANTIALLY bad room...

    Are we talking a 5x5 cell? Made of glass? A huge, noisy air vent?

    What about any common room, can't be fixed with some curtains, or area rug, or maybe some top secret nasa space tiles, or eggcrate (as us simple folks call it).....

    What 'bad' rooms have you all come across, and what made them so very very naughty?

    Cheers,
    Russ

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

     

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts