Audio Emotion  Epiphany Acoustics 
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  1. #1
    Founding Member ClassikFan's Avatar
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    It seems to me from reading the posts on this and other HiFi Fora that those who favour analogue playback would place the TT as the most important part of the system, while those favouring the digital source digital will place more emphasis on Amp and Speakers.

    If this is the case does this suggest that the differences between various CD players are less than the differences between types of turntables.

    I have always beleived the statements I first read in the pre digital 1980's that a good source with average amp and speakers will give a better result than average souce and amp and brilliant speakers. Surely good speakers cannot put back into the sound something that has been lost at the sourse and was never present in the first place.

    What do people think of the first 2 statements. Is my reasoning correct?
    Just coz you got the power... that don't mean you got the right.

  2. #2
    Administrator Hawk's Avatar
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    With turntables there are more variables to play with to tailor your sound.... Arm, cartridge, phono stage etc. If you were to compare say an orbe to a gyro with exactly the same arm and cart the differences would be relatively small.

    I dont agree with the statement that CDP's sound the same. It maybe true in the sub £1500 category, but IMO there is a world of difference as you go up the scale. Sure their is diminishing returns though.

    I think the source first thinking works on the crap in and crap out principle, but it impact of amplification is just as great IMO..

    Hawk

  3. #3
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    I believe that the source isessential - this is based on personal experience. Rubbish in = rubbish out. For the last 8 years I have been building on a Linn CDP which remains the bedrock. I have heard other sources but would need to spend a helluva lot of money to achieve any significant improvement. The only significant improvements in sound/musical quality that I have managed so far have been to:

    a. Get a better pre-amp and

    b. Add bass reinforcement and

    c. Buy good quality recorded CDs :sw:
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  4. #4
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    If information is lost in the source stage, you will never get it back no matter how good your amp / speakers, so yes, the source is of paramount importance. However, what the amp and speakers do with that information is important also, but if it were my money, I would get the best source I could first.
    [Luke:] I can't believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.

  5. #5
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    A bit like Hawk, but I would describe as no hard fast rules, but balanced seems to work for me

  6. #6
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    Rubbish in, rubbish out imho. I could hear a very clear improvement in quality as I moved from a Regaup to a Pink Triangle (using same source & speakers). I'm not saying go completely flat earth & match £250 speakers & ampto a £2500 t/t; but a 40/30/30% split works for me.

    Think the same applies to cdp too.

    Regards, GofA

  7. #7
    Administrator Hawk's Avatar
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    I agree balance is pretty important, and i accept the crap in crap out argument but IME the pre amp can be a potential bottleneck. eg great source signal strangled or not so good signal flowing more efficiently? The net effect is similar...

    Hawk

  8. #8
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    Balance is extremely important, which leads neatly into synergy and stuff - some kit simply works together. Specifically amp/speaker interactions.

    I would personally place a slight bias in favour of speakers as this is the point at which a signal is converted into sound and speakers usually make the biggest difference to the sort of sound you get (note that this is not the same as saying its better). For example 400/500/600 on cd/amp/spkrs is not a bad balance. But everyone is different.

    Its also worth noting that with speakers you often start to see better drive units come in at around say £400+ whereas below this point youusually get a bigger box/more of the cheaper drivers/larger version of the cheaper driver.

  9. #9
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    TT systembudget split is31/36/33. Surprisingly balanced actually

    CD system split is 21/55/24.I think in most cases the ideal split would be 20/45/35.

    This is the seperates budget - and does not include sums earmarked for mains/supports/cabling etc.

    FWIW, diminishing returns start VERY early with cd players, hence why I believe you should spend more on your amps & speakers.

    DT
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  10. #10
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    I was sceptical about good CD players but having home-demo'd one I will strive to always have a good source!

    Garbage In - Garbage Out is essential to live by.

    No point having amazing speakers that will just reveal how crap the CD player is

  11. #11
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    Post imported post

    Dynamic Turtle wrote:
    FWIW, diminishing returns start VERY early with cd players, hence why I believe you should spend more on your amps & speakers.

    DT

    I think you have hit the nail on the head DT.

    Well done. Thread over?
    Just coz you got the power... that don't mean you got the right.

  12. #12
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    The major problem with the "source first" philosophy in a CD replay system is that the overwhelming majority of CD players have very little to differentiate between the transports and DAC chips being usedby the manufacturers (assemblers and box designers might be a better description). Lift the lid off most of them and you would be hard pushed indeedto find a metal transport chassis these days and the amount of different DAC chips available you can almost count on one hand, so the CD players that are capable of standing head and shoulders above the crowd to a significant degree by virtue of good design from the ground up are becoming increasingly more scarce.

    Yes the performance of the average player can be lifted by reworking the power supply, improving the screening and enhancing it's isolation, but the more expensive kit has this done for you, albeitat a price.



  13. #13
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    cd system 33% 33% 33%



    vinyl system . 60% front end ,20% amp, 20%speaker.

    in my opinion most cd players sound the same. where as vinyl can sound so different between the decks, go for the best player and arm you can afford, and use a 50 quid cartridge untill you have more money to play with.

  14. #14
    Gufmeister Leonard Smalls's Avatar
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    I find speakers make the most difference, assuming source gear is not just a Binatone cassette player....

    Then of course you need amps that drive them sufficiently..

  15. #15
    Super Wammer The Strat's Avatar
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    I would say start with an = split in budget and then tailor according to taste but always checking foy the right synergies. Always doubted £5K TT with £300 amp and speakers philosophy but = spending £6k on speakers with £500 CD and amp can be asking for big trouble. But accept the view that there is far greater variation in TT performance than there is with CDPs.I suspect that paying a little more for the right tonal balance out of yourspeakersmight play dividends but in my case we spent slightly more on source components and the right pre-power combo to really expoit the Dynas. If on vinyl mustn't overlook the need for a good phono stage as well or that can be a real choke in the system.
    Nostalgia is not art (MIB 1 Jul 13)

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