edited August 2016 in Systems
I keep reading about system synergy and most say about keeping your components the same make. Is this real or is it a load of old tosh? To me i would say if you like the sound and are happy with it,then stick with what you have be it all same make or Licorice Allsorts. If the case is all one make system hifi components,what Cd player  and speakers would work best with my Magnum amps as Magnum didn't make cd players,turntables or speakers so would mean im pretty much stuffed ? What are your feelings on Synergy is it true in having one complete make source amp and speakers?

Also be nice to have a conversation on this.


  • It sounds as if you feel sceptical about the notion that one's system should provide a home to as few manufacturers in your system as possible; that it is unlikely that there is some hi-fi law that states that the number of different badges that festoon one's system is in inverse proportion to how much enjoyment one's system offers. (If so, I agree.)
    Your post also implies that synergy = same manufacturer. I'm not sure that this is always the understanding of the term "synergy", so that may need a separate response.

    I've typed some extra stuff there and then deleted it. I want to think on my wording a little longer to maximise the chances of my answer being understood!
  • You lost me already doc lol
  • So, I should have deleted more of that post...

  • farout said:
    You lost me already doc lol
    I suppose what I was saying was:
    1. You sound sceptical about "synergy", where "synergy = same make of kit".
    2. I share your scepticism of that definition. (E.g. I suspect that given an all Cambridge Audio system, I would prefer the system's sound if the Cambridge Audio amplifer was subsituted for a Wonfor Class A one).
    3. Sometimes I gather that the term "synergy" is used to imply not necessarily the same kit, but rather that some specific component sounds better with some other specific component(s) than it does with something else.
    4. I can't argue against that less precise definition of "synergy". But, the reasons for it are probably numerous and depend on the kit in question, and the listener's subjective tastes and particular budget.
  • My understanding of synergy is components working together happily, so that the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
  • I think system synergy comes in many guises.

    1) Manufacturers would like us to believe that single brand systems would be best!
    2) Some manufacturers use more unusual connection methods between components making mixing brands that little bit more awkward with the need of special adaptor cables (thinking the likes of Naim here).
    3) Sometimes you need to be careful with electronically matching equipment e.g. in a bi-amped or active system it is necessary that the power amplifiers have the same gain. Again matching speakers to amps, was that amp designed to cope with 4ohm or less speakers? Will the valve amp at 5w per channel be enough to drive those 80dB speakers?

    4) The most desireable, when partnered components (regardless of lineage) just seem to shine particularly well together, better than other combinations at a similar price level, giving value for money and enjoyment a big boost. This could simply be down to one component balancing out any negative qualities of its partner (as none are perfect) to produce an especially well balanced sound.
  • All I need to have with Synergy is a good cup of coffee nice music good company and enjoy the sound. mmmmmm haven. 
  • Yeah Col summed it up :) and im more than happy with my different makes.
  • Me, too. 

    I used to have NVA all the way through except for my CD transport and speakers. Now, it's a different story, although if you look closely you'll see taggings of early graffiti artists that say something like C14 on some of them.

  • edited August 2016
    To what degree is "synergy" a black and white concept (i.e. either a system has it, or it doesn't)...?

    Also I suppose that for some listeners, same-make components might have a higher chance of finding some degree of synergy than do randomly assembled components, especially in the case of same-make components from small companies / one man band. I ponder this point because if the components (e.g. amps and cables) are designed and subjectively tested by a single person, then they may be based on similar design philosophies or sound characteristics. Furthermore, the designer may intentionally design all his bits of kit to work well with each other (sonically or electronically), or at the very least may have used his existing kit to test / listen to new kit during the R&A stage. After all, one can't listen to an amplifier without various other bits of kit. Perhaps the sound will have been tweaked within the context of the specific range of components available to the designer at the time.
    I'm speaking hypothetically of course. It would be interesting to get the thoughts of those here who actually undertake the magic of product design in their own workshops. I'm sure coffee and good music form a part of the context within which "synergy" might be found, but when I plugged my speaker cables into my mug of Asda Rich Roast I just got a nasty crackling noise and some bright flashes...
  • Docfoster said:
    , but when I plugged my speaker cables into my mug of Asda Rich Roast I just got a nasty crackling noise and some bright flashes...
    From coffee to coughing to coffin! That's the story how he died, Clyde.......
  • edited August 2016
    You hear/read people saying about an all Rega system how good the synery and prat is that its bouncy good fun and lively to listen to.Now when i heard an all Rega set up including all their cables not the cheaper electonics,i just didn't get it to me it sounded flat and boring no life in it without being disrespectful to to rega. Synergy in all one make, perhaps im missing something but i really get the feeling of it.Or is the power of media that strong? Am i too set in my ways and just prefer older gear? My gear is different Magnum amps,Pink Triangle Turntable, Helios Cd player and Epos es14 speakers,to me this sounds lively and has "synery" perhaps they all just work well together. I suppose i can understand all one make working well together being all made in same place with near matching components but then wouldn't you be stuck with their house sound?
  • edited August 2016
    I agree. I want to make clear that I'm not arguing strongly for a "same-make" definition of synergy. And I'm certainly not supporting the marketing strategies of individual companies!

    I suppose I'm just trying to explain to myself what part "same-make synergy" might have played in "same-make" periods in my own hifi history...
    I went through a phase of having a lot of Musical Fidelity kit, then NVA and now a lot of Wonfor stuff.
    When explaining this to myself, I keep in mind that I'm not somehow magically emancipated from the feelings pride of group association (in this case some specific hifi brand) that is woven into human DNA, but it's a possibility that additionally to my inate tribalism my various bits of Musical Fidelity kit may actually have sounded better with each other than they did with some other randomly selected piece of kit. And, IF so, it's possible that this same-brand "synergy" was a consequence of those bits of kit being designed by the same brain(s) and ears, or even of those same-make bits of kit being used with each other in their design processes.
    Lots of IFs in there. Anod anther two are that IF "same-make synergy" might be a factor then it is of benefit only to the degree that the individual listener likes the sound of that particular make. IF one doesn't, then one man's "synergy" is another man's multiplied "flatness".

    Most importantly, the way that I transitioned from one brand to another reveals something important to me. Though I'm not sure exactly what: A Musical Fidelity A3.2 integrated amp that I owned (2004?) had a "Pre-in" (i.e. it fed the power amp section directly). When I tried an NVA P90 preamp into the MuFi's "pre-in" I preferred the sound. So in that case the same-make synergy of different parts of the same amplifier was trumped by my preference for whatever the NVA P90 was doing. Similarly, when many years later I replaced an NVA TSS power amp with an Inca Designs ID25 power amplifier in an all-NVA system, I kept the ID25 in place (and there began my collection of Wonfor power amps, which then spread to cables).
    So, even IF same-make synergy exists, and IF an individual listerner enjoys the house sound of that particular make, it is only a marginal, NOT an overriding factor. (Not sure anyone is saying that anyway...).

  • edited August 2016
    As this thread progresses, I'm wondering how "synergy" might be defined, other than the "just use all of our kit" message. What is it?
    And, how useful a term / concept is it...?
  • I've tried to get a tonally neutral sounding system so i get the music just the way it was recorded almost. 

     "Synergy"  the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements or possibly working against each other. 

    Yeah could be quite useful term depending who using it i suppose.

    If the word Synergy is to be used in hifi terms,them mine has tons of it. It all works very well together be it all different.

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