System building priorities - do you agree?

edited April 2013 in Systems
Here's a view of sytem building:

It sounds sound, but I don't think it's my experience. Is it yours?


  • And do you agree?
  • edited April 2013
    And do you agree?  On whole yes, some good suggestions, it is a shame he never mention colour to please the wife he he and Flat cable is the best as we all now understand.
  • Oh yes, colour  8-|
  • Your article makes sense Dave but like you say I don't know anyone who follows it.  There are two primary reasons for this in my case at least:

    1)  Saving up for my next pair of speakers will take a very long time if I stick with the same manufacturer.
    2)  Tweaks/cables/software/general foo is what fills a lot of hifi internet fora.  I'm too impatient to wait for new speakers so will throw money at low cost tweaks/software etc in the hope they are going to deliver some disproportionate improvement to my system.  Of course they never do.....will this stop me trying?  Probably not.

    I also disagree (based on my current setup) with your comments about preamps doing as little as possible. I've yet to hear my system sounding better without a high quality valve pre in the loop.  This could of course be down to other components letting the side down.  I stress the importance of the pre being of high quality because the cheaper ones that I've tried tend to make the sound overly warm, soften the bass, reduce treble extension and generally want to make me switch off.

  • Just for clarification - my fault here - that link is not to anything I wrote.

    I thought it was a very conventional view of systems building that didn't reflect my experiences. 
  • Not sure really. I'll have to think about it. My first thoughts are that such a discussion is meaningless without establishing contexts such as:

    1. What you already have (e.g. nothing at all, or some existing setup (and if so what?)).

    2. What budget you have (e.g. £1,000 or £10,000) as I think the slope on the diminishing-returns graph dips at different rates for different components.

  • There seems to be a lot of seemingly sound advice in the article, but I believe it's still possible to build a system following all of it, and for it to sound very dull. Mind, the article never claimed to be infallible.

    I don't find it all holds true in my case either, TBH.

  • If I were to build a system again, I think I might do things differently now. I guess I have learned quite a bit, like, for instance, I don't really like hifi and the messing about that goes with it. I've had my fill of tempramental equipment that must be protected and treated with kid gloves, and nothing makes me more mad with this hobby than 'off' days, or gear that's not quite working as it should.

    I reckon a simple solution has real merit, but I still want the quality I've been fortunate enough to enjoy this last few years. I wouldn't mind trying an MDAC and some Event Opal monitors. That would keep me very happy, I think.

    That kind of fits with the thrust of the article.
  • You're sounding a little jaded Alan.

    I hate it when gear doesn't work properly, too, but I think the only real problems I've had in years are down to computer software rather than hi-fi hardware. A digital front end can be almost as good a source of faff as an analogue one.

    There. I said it!

    When are you going to come round and have a listen to the Green Goddess? 
  • It probably sounds worse than it really is! I'm not quite in distress over anything, if I'm really honest. It could be a small thing, like a dodgy connection somewhere, or a noisy power supply in another device causing interference. And, as you say, software issues are ever present. HiFi shouldn't ever get in the way of enjoying music.

    I am heartened to see your admission Dave, it's a healthy step!

    A trip to The People's Republic of Worthing may well be do-able, although I am sure I will probably leave the greenest... =:)  All the action happens in Worthing! :D
  • The thing about fun in all this, as I learned a couple of years ago, is that system destructing is as much fun as building... Flogging off my pretty oomphy Naim system and then rebuilding it in a new room, with different speakers and different amps is probably the best time I've ever had in hi fi, notwithstanding the blown tweeters and enormous hassle involved. What I learned was:

    Small systems, with fewer connections, are
    a lot of fun;

    Source first is generally a good idea (which is why I held on to my TT and phono stage);

    There are some real gems out there in terms of UK amp manufacturers- whatever one thinks of the personalities involved;

    90s mid priced CD players can be shockingly good;

    As in life, sometimes a radical rethink can be totally invigorating...

  • There are some real gems out there in terms of UK amp manufacturers- whatever one thinks of the personalities involved;
    No no no. I refuse to deal with that man Wonfor. He's an effing lunatic.
  • He's that bloke who thinks Class A is good, ain't he?
  • Well, if he's on heroin, that explains a lot.
  • Col's only interested in Class A amplification, not like you overworked doctors  [-X
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