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Speakers are ALWAYS the weakest link

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goji    30

Audio reproduction, for those that care is about establishing a solid ecosystem, where all components (source, amp, speakers etc.) compliment each other.

It isn't a matter of Speaker A being "better" than B, or amp A vs B, when different configurations will meet different requirements. For those on a tight budget, which is where this thread started, its about getting your moneys worth. For everyone else, it is about piecing together a system that works best, source material included.

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bob_c_b    13
Audio reproduction, for those that care is about establishing a solid ecosystem, where all components (source, amp, speakers etc.) compliment each other.

It isn't a matter of Speaker A being "better" than B, or amp A vs B, when different configurations will meet different requirements. For those on a tight budget, which is where this thread started, its about getting your moneys worth. For everyone else, it is about piecing together a system that works best, source material included.

Well said, I don't see any one piece of the chain being more important than the others. Getting bang for your buck can be challenging, and there is no such thing as inexpensive/cheap audiophile gear, but you can get rather decent quality from a nice blend of affordable gear with a little effort. Of course if you get obsessive enough then you have to start looking at room acoustics and now you are off a cliff. This seems like an argument about an argument.

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Joel    27
Yes, I'm all for the idea that speakers should be 90+% of your budget.

Huh? How much would you spend on the preamp/amp or receiver and a media source then? Say you got something decent for $500-600 bucks; you'd spend $4500 on the speakers?

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carmatic    54

i say that the the amp matters, not for you directly, but for the speakers you are using... every speaker has its 'favourite' amp, where bad characteristics cancel each other out and the good things combine to create something greater than their sum

just like there is no speaker which would sound good with every single amp out there, there is no amp which would drive every speaker beautifully... just because the amp is more expensive, doesnt mean that it will definitely work better with the speakers you have, and vice versa

but if cost truly is an issue and i have to choose what to spend on... then the speakers are primary to me, i feel better about having a capable set of speakers recreating the sound of a not-so-good amp, rather than having an expensive amp obscured by lousy speakers... it kind of gives breathing space and a better sense of the electronic domain of your setup, you could try different things like adding induction loops and bi-cabling the wires and stuff like that to mess with the sound if you dont like what's coming out of the amp

i think the problem for most of us is that we simply dont have a whole shop's worth of different amps and speakers to choose from, in our living room where we will actually be using the setup nonetheless... the acoustics of your room is likely to differ from the showroom, thats another factor

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Fred Derf    217
Huh? How much would you spend on the preamp/amp or receiver and a media source then? Say you got something decent for $500-600 bucks; you'd spend $4500 on the speakers?

My Yamaha amp was cheaper than that. It is a fairly basic model that offered low total harmonic distortion compared to its price competitors.

My front/main speakers are fairly nice but they are relatively huge (double base cones in each) and thus my wife hates them.

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shakey_snake    1

Well, it's indicative.

You don't have to smell every steer's butt to know what bullsh*t smells like. :p

There were enough tests run that audible differences could have been determined at very statistically significant levels, yet the listeners preformed no better than random guessing. :spindj:

Edited by shakey_snake

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+Fahim S.    1,088

So essentially - we should only be completely scientific when it suits us?

Taking that stance... I am not sure how that you are any different from the 'audiophile' crowd...

The sample size is small enough to potentially be a statistical anomaly...

I am personally of the belief that you take a number of factors into consideration including if you like the sound (my current amp is Onkyo TX-SR876 which retails for around ?700 in the UK at a good price) - I did audition more expensive (up to ?2000) and less expensive amps (down to ?250) and found that I liked the sound of this one best. My speakers are a set of KEF KHT3005 which retailed at around ?900 when I bought them. Now say what you want, I did the due diligence to ensure I was happy with my purchase and give the same advice to anyone who asks me - buy the one you like the sound of that falls somewhere below the maximum you want to spend...

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shakey_snake    1
So essentially - we should only be completely scientific when it suits us?
How do you figure that's what I'm saying?

If you for some reason think that different amps or different receivers would make a difference, than I'd certainly encourage you to do your own trials. However, without a convincing hypothesis as to why more amps or listeners would make a difference, and without having properly done more testing that has significant results to the contrary, then I have little reason to share in your skepticism at the applicability of the results of this test.

Taking that stance... I am not sure how that you are any different from the 'audiophile' crowd...

The sample size is small enough to potentially be a statistical anomaly...

The sample size is among the largest I've seen for such a test.

In fact this study is 20 years old really says something. This study really lead to a lot emotionally (as opposed to logically) driven "audiophiles" to completely reject blind testing, and ABX in particular. On what grounds? Mostly nonsense. You can find quite a bit of articles from "audio subjectivists" bashing this study online, but I have yet to see one that was even close to logically based.

Additionally, the fact that technology has exploded progressively in the last 20 years, really makes one consider: if solid-state amps were transparent 20 years ago (or even close to it) than they have to even be moreso now.

I am personally of the belief that you take a number of factors into consideration including if you like the sound (my current amp is Onkyo TX-SR876 which retails for around ?700 in the UK at a good price) - I did audition more expensive (up to ?2000) and less expensive amps (down to ?250) and found that I liked the sound of this one best. My speakers are a set of KEF KHT3005 which retailed at around ?900 when I bought them. Now say what you want, I did the due diligence to ensure I was happy with my purchase and give the same advice to anyone who asks me - buy the one you like the sound of that falls somewhere below the maximum you want to spend...

1. The price of your gear is completely irrelevant here, and I'm not sure why you've brought it up other than you feel like doing some sort of offhanded braggi;). ;)

2. How are you even certain that you "liked the sound" of any of them or could even hear a difference?

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booboo    6

For ****s sake, I have 2 amps next to me now, I have a yahama and an onkyo 505, and the yahama is a cheap system which came with speakers as well for ?150. And the onkyo was ?200 for the amp itself. I have a pair of denon 100 watt speakers, and a pair of acoustic solution 180 watt speakers ( cba to find the model, so the watts will have to do ;P). I can tell you for a fact, that my onkyo sounds a lot better than the yahama, and it's not just me who can hear it, my room mate can, and even the cleaners at my school (im at boarding school).

My dad was a hi-fi technician, and he did spend alot on his speakers, and they sound amazing, and he was running a denon amp for 4 years, before he upgraded to the new AVC-A1XVA. And once again the new one sounds alot better, on exactly the same speakers.

Most amps do all the pre-processing, so of course there's going to be a change in quality.

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shakey_snake    1

Overdriving the amp to the point of clipping and impedance mismatch problems were ruled out in my first post in this thread. That's pretty typically for HTiB and ministereo amps. :)

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