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what sounds 'good' to you?

fini

Wammer
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Aug 30, 2006
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Leatherhead, Surrey,
I have a Saturday job at currys.digital to help pay my way through uni and, as part of that job, I have to try to sell the most naff 'hifis' the world's ever seen. Quiet often the customer asks to hear a CD being played so I dutifully load it into the £50 cd/radio super combo piece of junk and it does its best impression of an ant beating the tune out against a tin can. At this point I start emphasizing all the 'amazing functionality' it has and usually, after a pause, to my amazement the customer states 'yeh that sounds really really great'.

Now my system at home is blown out the water by practically everyone else’s on here, but I'm still shocked every time someone tells me the systems that I have to demo for them sound anything better than 'so bad it made the crew of children's hit tv show 'rainbow' turn into murderous terrorists'.

Tons of people on here have commented on how once they heard a better sounding system than there's they get the upgrade bug majorly, but my question is what level of hi-fi do you have to go to before YOU personally think it sounds 'good'?

fini

 
G

Guest

Guest
About £300 secondhand was enough to blow me out of the water. Its shouldn't have a price tag really but that moment when you connect with the music is the real clincher

 

griffo104

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To be honest, getting a system made with well chosen budget comppnents with some decent (but cheap) cables can sound excellent if a little care is made to the setup.

Like you, I've been with friends who go and listen in Currys and the like and when they state it sounds good I'm in a state of despair.

I've let people listen to my budget system and they say how great it is, then they use the excuse that my taste in hifi is too expensive for them - fair do's if it's my main system. Once I explain it's cost they then use the excuse it either looks ugly or doesn't have enough features.

This is the main problem, these people don't really want good sound, they want something that makes a noise, but is in the corner, small and not noticed.

 
G

Guest

Guest
griffo104 wrote:

This is the main problem, these people don't really want good sound, they want something that makes a noise, but is in the corner, small and not noticed.
Bloody hell thats my wife talking verbatim

 
A

adam

Guest
There was a exhibition this weekend in malaga of the B&W Nautilus and 801D with top of the range classe electronics,suprisingly the comments were that it wasn't as good as people expected,and offerd very poor value for money,so I think you reach a point were it gets very hard to get worthwhile improvements.

I had two Spanish guys in my shop,one of them Has a gryphon at 8000Euros and Dynaudio C1,he listened to a much cheaper system,two brands he had never heard,and they both said it lost nothing to the system that costs 7000Euros more,and that it offerd far greater value for money.

So for me and many people this comes into the equation,the value for money factor,sound per pound,you know when you are hearing a good sound,with affordable kit,in a good sounding room is easily attainable.

 

JANDL100

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Dec 5, 2006
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I have some great kit IMO - but most folks who come visit might just notice the weird looking stuff ("are those tall flat things speakers?" "why are there light bulbs on that thing with knobs on?") but are TOTALLY indifferent to the sound. Occasionally I get the comment "nice tone".

Sadly, us audionuts are in a very small minority - most people are completely unaware of sound quality as an issue, and care about it even less.
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They think I'm completely nuts spending the sort of money I do.

-- Well, OK - maybe they've got a point there!
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But hell, I'm happy ! :dude:

 

griffo104

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Borats Baby wrote:

Duvet wrote:
About £300 secondhand was enough to blow me out of the water. Its shouldn't have a price tag really but that moment when you connect with the music is the real clincher
Spot on !!
Yep - once that happens, and it can be as cheap as chips - that's it musical bliss. First time I heard the opening throes of London Calling on a decent hifi and the impact it had on me - that was it.

I think people who really enjoy music,I meanit's a passion in its self not something to put on while doing the ironing, are much more likely to have this impact and reaction to good hifi. Simply because it takes you there and puts a smile a on your face - it's where you want to be.

Just make sure you don't come in the Wigwam though cos you'll end up on that rocky road
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musicbox

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Jul 23, 2005
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I get depressed when I go to people's houses and see a £100 Dixon's system sitting on a bookshelf or under the sideboard..... how can people treat music as if its sounimportant?

BUT... I had afriend who was a gifted musician, played cello, clarinetand piano to professional standard, taughtmusic to children andwhose life revolved around music.She had a collection of a several hundred cassette tapes, whichwere played on some plastic ghettoblaster thingy from Currys, and she felt no need for anything more.

 

lstanley

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Aug 4, 2005
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I just came back from a 2 week trip where my only access to music was either the car stereo (bass, bass and more bass)or a crappy alarm clock thingy (treble, treble and more treble)which also "played" cds.

I like my hifi, I know it's not the best in the worldbut I really appreciate it when I've been away from it for a while. Sad? Probably, butas somebody already said if it makes you happy...

 

TIU

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musicbox wrote:

I get depressed when I go to people's houses and see a £100 Dixon's system sitting on a bookshelf or under the sideboard..... how can people treat music as if its so unimportant?BUT... I had a friend who was a gifted musician, played cello, clarinet and piano to professional standard, taught music to children and whose life revolved around music. She had a collection of a several hundred cassette tapes, which were played on some plastic ghettoblaster thingy from Currys, and she felt no need for anything more. 
Probably because there's nothing that can replicate the timbre of real instruments and to try to reproduce that sound and presence with hi-fi is bloomin expensive. Some people know that recorded music is artificial so don't bother to try and accurately reproduce it and will stay at and be quite happy with the plastic portable CD/radio/tape level.

The other day I was walking down my local high street and heard some amplified music and singing. I instantly knew it was children singing live into a microphone. If that was recorded and played back on any of our systems, it wouldn't sound the same and have that live experience.

 

angelface

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Jun 14, 2006
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I put togther a system for my daughter that cost 150 quid even if some

of the components were second hand. It doesn't sound as good as my system but

all her friends think it is weird until they listen to it!

I think you need about 500 quid for a really good system but with eBay and

ex-dem bargains you can do something for much less.

 
E

earl of sodbury

Guest
Good post Fini
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I got back into this lark with a £50 "Dual" branded microsystem from Asda - my 20 year-old ghetto-blaster had died and I wanted a replacement, and I thought this would be a bit of an upgrade (it played CDs)and was for me (then) a huge materialistic indulgence! I was gobsmacked by how good that little system sounded then, chiefly because my reference point was that knackerd old ghetto-blaster!

I would probably still be listening to it if my dad hadn't done the decent thing and died of lung cancer, among the seemingly worthless stuff left after the vultures in my family had finished picking-over the caracase, was a Denon DM-30 micro-system - I thought this was worth a try, so rescued it from the skip and tried it... Gobsmacking number 2... This was now the best sound I'd ever heard, because mypoint of reference was a £50 mini-system from Asda...

And thus it continues...
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but I think JANDL100 put it best:

Sadly, us audionuts are in a very small minority - most people are completely unaware of sound quality as an issue, and care about it even less.
 
A

Alex A

Guest
griffo104 wrote:

I think people who really enjoy music,I meanit's a passion in its self not something to put on while doing the ironing, are much more likely to have this impact and reaction to good hifi. Simply because it takes you there and puts a smile a on your face - it's where you want to be.
I think on the whole there will be a strong correlation between music appreciation and hi-fi appreciation (exceptions permitted).

But chaps, you need to get them young! I was never of the opinion that a £100 micro system ever was good, because we've always had proper hi-fi in the family (old Leak kit mainly) and I'd always been exposed to it. When I started on my own trail. I got an Aiwa system simply because it's all I could get for Christmas, and the progression began very very quickly from the age of 11!

I've opened the eyes of many 18-24 year olds since I've been building my system. All of whom at first thought I was eccentric and silly with the money I spent on hi-fi. But nontheless they were curious as to see the method in my madness, and over long periods of exposure to my system and loans of my spare kit, they are more than convinced that at least there are significant improvements to be had, even if some of them think the returns to scale are too dimishing. Although the most astonishing thing for most people was also the one about which they were most sceptical: The DAC64. Trying to explain the concept of such a think to anyone not in the know is difficult enough, so I thought this was a significant eye opener.

I've now got three or four friends now with mid-range systems from the likes of Naim, MF, Marantz, B&W, KEF and even one has a Krell integrated! A few others have invested in 2nd hand budget separates and ditched their Sony all in one's. Even those who can't afford to invest yet, will certainly make it a priority later in life.

All of these people are male (shocker) and very into their music.

I suppose my point is that there is hope, and that every convert needs to help bring about enlightenment and not leave it to the press/dealer/media.

 

Borats Baby

Wammer
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May 2, 2006
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To add to my (or rather Duvets) post earlier, My current system is stuff cobbled together because it was "cheap" and TBH all I can afford.

Its just spooky I guess, that it all seems to work together really well. Prolly cost a bit less than £300 all together and I am very very happy with it. Alright, I will throw the odd £20 on it here or there if I see something cheap on eBay but only for THAT reason, It's cheap !

So, money / cost aside, what level ??

Good quality second hand seperates from the early 90's is a "good" start, and for me at least, also a good place to stop, The End !

Good topic fini and BTW,

Welcome to the tent and MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!!

 

rockmeister

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Jul 24, 2005
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My 2P

When you get out of touch with systems (or are just starting out and therefore not 'in touch'), anything better than a radio sounds good. My humble car system sounds good sometimes, a denon mini system sounds fine etc etc. The onlt time you really pine for better kit is when you are upgrading continuously and your musical memory is constantly refreshed...in those circumstances, the limits just your budget IMO. Given the example of sitting in a demo room that contained all known kit in the world, and it's demoed to you in synergystic systems, where do you say 'stop'? However, spend three months in isolation and listen to my denon mini and I bet you'd still think yeah, thats really good. I found my 'nirvanha' once after spending todays equivalent of maybe £12000? I was happy to stop there, but that didn't mean there wasn't something better!
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Papa Lazarou

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Aug 18, 2005
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Ultimately it depends on what your expectations and references are.

I've heard systems that cost their owners £700 (secondhand) that i've enjoyed more than some costing nearly £30k.

I would say that a systemenjoyable to my ears can be had for about £500.

 

harv

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Jan 5, 2006
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With my personal, I'm happy as long as I don't feel I missing something when listening to other peoples systems. Whilst a few friends have hifi, most are into mini or micro systems or pc speakers:shock:. Its frustrating that I take a cd round and be like this is amazing and all the details or bass etc is missing on their systems and quite frankly sounds pants. Sometimes not too often fortunately I'll be listening to their richer sounds special deal and enjoy the music more then on my own, but some of that is because I wasn't really listening to it, if you know what I mean

 

Jim

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Apr 9, 2006
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A lot of people dont really care what it sounds like. If it plays the tune on the cd then fine. To us lot on here we are aware of what we want like soundstage and what a drum should sound like etc. Jim.