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How much further can we go ?

rabski

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I got that impression whenever I've compared notes from shows, also from looking at many people's systems. But maybe I'm wrong, it's not factual.
Shows make for difficult comparisons though, as people are inevitably dealing with unfamiliar rooms. If you're talking about trade shows, then it's also often apparent that some people (exhibitors) like to put together stuff that sounds impressive on a quick listen, thus often things that tend to over emphasise bass and treble.

By comparison, listening to systems in the homes of other enthusiasts, I get the opposite impression. Most people seem to want to achieve a more 'natural' tonal balance because they live with a system in the long term, when 'bright and bassy' tens to grate after a while.
 

StingRay

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I got that impression whenever I've compared notes from shows, also from looking at many people's systems. But maybe I'm wrong, it's not factual.
Not as far as I know, many people seek a warmer fuller sound rather than bright, as far as I know. It maybe worth starting a thread about people's preferences. Bright is not something I desire, if anything, it is something I try to avoid. I hate sibilance, a bright system would exacerbate that.

At shows I think they tend to play at high volumes, which probably makes systems seem brighter and many rooms are not well set up or suitable for decent sound, so I would not go too much on shows, I'm not talking the WAM show here.
 
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tuga

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You will understand the meaning of the measurements than me. I hadn't seen these before so it would be good to hear your thoughts. FYI the PM-11S3 was also measured against the PM11 S2 in this article with the PM11S2 having -20db lower distortion in the preamp output stage than the PM11S3 as well as measuring better than the PM11S3 in other areas.
https://www.audioholics.com/amplifier-reviews/marantz-pm-11s3/measurements
https://www.stereophile.com/content/naim-supernait-integrated-amplifier-measurements

The Naim's measured performance is worse than I expected, I wonder if they had to make compromises by adding the digital input and D/A section... It would have been granted a place on my shortlist.
The Marantz is fine by transistor-amp standards.
 

tuga

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Shows make for difficult comparisons though, as people are inevitably dealing with unfamiliar rooms. If you're talking about trade shows, then it's also often apparent that some people (exhibitors) like to put together stuff that sounds impressive on a quick listen, thus often things that tend to over emphasise bass and treble.

By comparison, listening to systems in the homes of other enthusiasts, I get the opposite impression. Most people seem to want to achieve a more 'natural' tonal balance because they live with a system in the long term, when 'bright and bassy' tens to grate after a while.

I agree regarding showsnot being the best conditions but I still find the comments relevant.
I've not listened to many home systems but most I did listen to were too "bright" for what is my benchmark "neutrality".
 

DomT

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The Naim's measured performance is worse than I expected, I wonder if they had to make compromises by adding the digital input and D/A section... It would have been granted a place on my shortlist.
The Marantz is fine by transistor-amp standards.
just goes to show that its all about how things are implemented. And a bit of a shocker that the PM11S3 is inferior to the PM11S2. I must admit on home demo that the PM11S3 sounded warmer; must have been the added noise and distortion.
 

bigrod

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Not as far as I know, many people seek a warmer fuller sound rather than bright, as far as I know. It maybe worth starting a thread about people's preferences. Bright is not something I desire, if anything, it is something I try to avoid. I hate sibilance, a bright system would exacerbate that.

At shows I think they tend to play at high volumes, which probably makes systems seem brighter and many rooms are not well set up or suitable for decent sound, so I would not go too much on shows, I'm not talking the WAM show here.
I equate sibilance with poor tracking of a stylus in the groove and not inherent in the sound of amplification and speakers ..
 

MartinC

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Can you not address the peak with your miniDSP? (or maybe it doesn't have a digital output)
400Hz to 20kHz looks very good.
Red treble looks good (the tilt pitch is mostly a matter of taste) but I would probably go for the blue bass if I could deal with the peak.
And you could cross into the subs at 100Hz. Does the Hedd have a high-pass filter?

I was just showing the curves relevant to your 'overly bright' comment, which it sounds like isn't where you think I've ended up. As above, that's just the raw response of the speaker, in ported mode, with no external DSP, or my subwoofer in use. It's not remotely optimised!
 
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DomT

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The things that I would like to see more of in the future are:

An integrated amplifier with modular DAC and phonostage. Thats nothing new I hear you say but what I would like to see is an industry standard size of DAC and phono plugin module and internal connector so that we can mix and match brands as we can with modular synths.

I would also like to see an integrated amp with a DAC and phonostage that is not a real compromise. Two years ago bought a Marantz PM7000N that I had high hopes for. The amp section was good at its price point but the streaming section compared to analogue inputs was terrible. Whilst there are going to be electrical isolation considerations I am curious that with the computer modelling etc that we have that this has not been done to the degree that it's a great sound at lower price points as the £9,000 Krell K300i that I listened to recently had a great sounding built in streamer.

And lastly amplifier transparency. I have been really surprised about the differences in transparency between a £1500 Quad Artera Stereo power amp, the Rega Aethos £3,300, Copland CSA100 at £4000 and Accuphase at £6,300. We shouldn't have to pay £6,300 to get that level of transparency.
 
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MartinC

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And lastly amplifier transparency. I have been really surprised about the differences in transparency between a £1500 Quad Artera Stereo power amp, the Rega Aethos £3,300, Copland CSA100 at £4000 and Accuphase at £6,300. We shouldn't have to pay £6,300 to get that level of transparency.

I wonder if it's the pre or power amp stages that are the more limiting factor? I'm partly thinking whether active speaker designs may generally be a cheaper way to achieve better transparency...
 
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DomT

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I wonder if it's the pre or power amp stages that are the more limiting factor? I'm partly thinking whether active speaker designs may generally be a cheaper way to achieve better transparency...
I don't know. But given that there are comparatively not that many active mid to far field monitors on the market, and that they are typically class D, it doesn't give the consumer a lot of choice. I only mention class D as in my new Neumanns I am not that keen. My Older Neumanns KH310 had class a/b. The general consensus is that class D is getting better and whilst some may already be a fan I am yet to hear one that I have liked including the Marantz PM10 £6,000 that I had on home demo.

Class D to me so far is a bit like new petrol car engines. They are more powerful in a smaller lighter space but sound pretty boring; a farting noise rather than a throaty roar. But it's the future and we need to save the planet. :eek::eek:
 

tuga

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I wonder if it's the pre or power amp stages that are the more limiting factor? I'm partly thinking whether active speaker designs may generally be a cheaper way to achieve better transparency...

That may in part be due to the fact that most actives are not directed at the audiophile/domestic audio market.
 
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DomT

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And another thing. The ownership model.

The HiFi industry could look at what's happening in other sectors. Cars on a finance plan that you don't pay full price and can trade in or buy out after x number of years. Or just do a 'lease' deal. In software SaaS (ie renting and someone else doing the maintenance) is the norm now. And of course we have Spotify rather than purchasing CDs and there is no reason why we can't do the same with hardware.

On this note manufacturers should learn from Accuphase on this point and not actually change the exterior of the product and just focus on the interior so that recycling can happen more easily.
 
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DomT

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That may in part be due to the fact that most actives are not directed at the audiophile/domestic audio market.
But its changing with products like the active Kef LS50s etc for this who want something better than a Naim Muso
 
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MartinC

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I don't know. But given that there are comparatively not that many active mid to far field monitors on the market, and that they are typically class D, it doesn't give the consumer a lot of choice. I only mention class D as in my new Neumanns I am not that keen. My Older Neumanns KH310 had class a/b. The general consensus is that class D is getting better and whilst some may already be a fan I am yet to hear one that I have liked including the Marantz PM10 £6,000 that I had on home demo.

Class D to me so far is a bit like new petrol car engines. They are more powerful in a smaller lighter space but sound pretty boring; a farting noise rather than a throaty roar. But it's the future and we need to save the planet. :eek::eek:

I've only heard them at a couple of shows but personally I rate the ATC SCM40 actives, and there are a number of other fans here. These use Class A/B amps rather than Class D. Acoustic Energy AE1 actives are Class A/B too but obviously rather smaller. I'd guess there are others about but you are of course right that Class D are more common.

Another more consumer focused active speaker that I heard at a Bristol show and liked was a Canton floorstanding model but I'd guess that used Class D amps.

(I've been using Class D amps for about 20 years though, so it's not something I get too hung up on. I guess I'd actively favour this option now for environmental reasons as you suggest though.)
 
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bigrod

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As I stated in the opening thread there has been huge leaps every decade in HIFI I have been apart of .. Whether your a pure vinyl fan or digital mix like me etc some of the quality on Std CDs is awesome ..50 years ago they would be in any audiophile collection …..
 

Beobloke

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There are still some truly exotic Avant garde speakers if you’ve got the money but I’ve not heard anything personally radically better than 10 years ago ..different certainly , and great sounding but not in leaps and bounds
Are we being duped ?

just out of internet, have you heard B&O Beloab 90s?

I only ask as I was feeling a bit like you a few years back. I’ve heard some stunning stuff as a reviewer and at the likes of the Munich Show, but there seemed to be little that really was a game-changer in sound or technology terms.

Then B&O came up with these things that look like a floppy golf bag but had technology that had never been seen before, They utterly blew me away when I fist heard them and, even four years on, my own pair still do.

I realise that few can afford them and I know how lucky I am to own a pair, but even if I couldn’t, I’d still be glad they existed and firm in the opinion that they are a true game-changer.
 
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