Lawrence001

Facts vs Myths

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I got this interesting email today, one of the daily ones from Paul McGowan (PS Audio). Worth signing up for if you haven't already. Thought I'd just light the touch paper and back off...

I thought it might be fun to start a mini-series called Fact or Fiction: dispelling or accepting audiophile beliefs. Not to get political, but when it has somehow become acceptable to separate facts into categories of believability I thought it’s time to put some of these concepts to the test.

What I will attempt to do is offer up the audiophile belief and then follow that with what facts we know and how they may or may not relate to real life.

Here’s the list we’ll tackle and, if you have others to suggest, certainly feel welcome to offer your suggestions in the comments section.

Performance above 20kHz matters

Expensive equipment always sounds better

Vinyl is more musical than digital

Amplifier headroom matters

Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits

Subwoofers are an unnecessary luxury

Parts quality affects performance

Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs

Speaker size should match the room

Cables matter

Vibration isolation products are snake oil

That’s quite a list and we start with item number one in tomorrow’s post.

Stay tuned.

Sent from my BLN-L21 using Tapatalk

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Super Wammer

If he has the same firm grip on science in his emails as he does in his YouTube videos then a large amount of salt will need to be on hand. 

  • Haha 1

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Dealer

Performance above 20kHz matters - yes

Expensive equipment always sounds better - no

Vinyl is more musical than digital - no, they are different

Amplifier headroom matters - yes, mostly

Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits - no they are more important

Subwoofers are an unnecessary luxury - yes

Parts quality affects performance - yes and no, as it depends on other things

Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs - then can be, in some musical aspects

Speaker size should match the room - no, the speaker design should match the room

Cables matter - yes

Vibration isolation products are snake oil - yes in over 90% of cases, BUT certain products like turntables and speakers, usually with mechanical construction aspects need either coupling or decoupling.

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1 minute ago, Richard Dunn said:

Performance above 20kHz matters - yes

Expensive equipment always sounds better - no

Vinyl is more musical than digital - no, they are different

Amplifier headroom matters - yes, mostly

Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits - no they are more important

Subwoofers are an unnecessary luxury - yes

Parts quality affects performance - yes and no, as it depends on other things

Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs - then can be, in some musical aspects

Speaker size should match the room - no, the speaker design should match the room

Cables matter - yes

Vibration isolation products are snake oil - yes in over 90% of cases, BUT certain products like turntables and speakers, usually with mechanical construction aspects need either coupling or decoupling.

It is a fact that without my cables, I would not hear my speakers. Therefore, cables are vital.

  • Haha 3

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Performance above 20kHz matters - yes
Expensive equipment always sounds better - no
Vinyl is more musical than digital - no, they are different
Amplifier headroom matters - yes, mostly
Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits - no they are more important
Subwoofers are an unnecessary luxury - yes
Parts quality affects performance - yes and no, as it depends on other things
Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs - then can be, in some musical aspects
Speaker size should match the room - no, the speaker design should match the room
Cables matter - yes
Vibration isolation products are snake oil - yes in over 90% of cases, BUT certain products like turntables and speakers, usually with mechanical construction aspects need either coupling or decoupling.
I think we agree on all points! Some are plain obvious eg. more expensive equipment always sounds better.

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My 43p worth...

Performance above 20kHz matters - True
Expensive equipment always sounds better - False
Vinyl is more musical than digital - False
Amplifier headroom matters - True
Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits - True
Subwoofers are an unnecessary luxury - False
Parts quality affects performance - True
Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs - VERY, VERY, VERY FALSE!
Speaker size should match the room - It helps, but there are exceptions
Cables matter - Their presence, or lack of, does!
Vibration isolation products are snake oil - Mostly True



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2 hours ago, Lawrence001 said:

Performance above 20kHz matters : Yes

Expensive equipment always sounds better: Not always but does when the manufacturer knows what they are doing.

Vinyl is more musical than digital: Sometimes, sometimes not

Amplifier headroom matters: Yes

Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits@ More so...ask Naim

Subwoofers are an unnecessary luxury: Not always

Parts quality affects performance: Yes if they know what they are doing.

Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs: No they are just simpler and less easy to screw up.

Speaker size should match the room: Not really within limits, no Chromosonics in bedsits!!

Cables  matter Yes.

Vibration isolation products are snake oil:

2

Valves and TTs are sensitive to vibrations.

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4 hours ago, Richard Dunn said:

Performance above 20kHz matters - yes

Expensive equipment always sounds better - no

Vinyl is more musical than digital - no, they are different

Amplifier headroom matters - yes, mostly

Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits - no they are more important

Subwoofers are an unnecessary luxury - yes

Parts quality affects performance - yes and no, as it depends on other things

Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs - then can be, in some musical aspects

Speaker size should match the room - no, the speaker design should match the room

Cables matter - yes

Vibration isolation products are snake oil - yes in over 90% of cases, BUT certain products like turntables and speakers, usually with mechanical construction aspects need either coupling or decoupling.

Thanks. Your post saved me from a lot of writing.

I'd add that:

Perhaps regarding subs it depends.

Aren't PSUs part of the amplifier circuit?

There are good and bad things in all speaker topologies but single drivers have the least performance potential of them all.

Edited by tuga

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Dealer

You should go and listen to Steve's (here as Lord Rockingham) Fanes and your mind will be completely changed. It depends on the drivers, all the ones I have heard before these Fanes had something wrong and something right, in some cases very right. The Fanes have everything right that I can detect, apart from I am a semi-omni freak, but they even do a bit of that.

the build thread http://www.audio-talk.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7242

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It's a fact that most audiophiles recommend their own equipment a lot.

It is a fact that there are a lot of really nice people who are in to their hifi, but we are all a bit odd.

It is a fact that phrases such as musicality and conveying emotion get right on my t**s. 

It is a fact that people who say that there is no good music today are repeating, ad nauseum, the same phrases their parents and grandparents repeated, that really got on the younger generations' nerves.

It is a fact that in a niche market, profits are often made by raised margins on reduced turnover.

It is a fact that in the grand scheme of life, arguing and becoming aggressive or demeaning about a hifi component is nonsense.

Edited by oldius
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54 minutes ago, JunglistJut said:

Everything in HiFi is an unnecessary luxury 

As Bill Shankly said: 'it is not life and death, it is more important than that....'     :o

Edited by George 47
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13 hours ago, Lawrence001 said:

Performance above 20kHz matters. Yes. It shouldn't, but it always seems to.

Expensive equipment always sounds better. No. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Price is not necessarily related to quality.

Vinyl is more musical than digital. Impossible, as you need to define 'musical'. It adds distortion, but that is usually harmonic and can be pleasing.

Amplifier headroom matters. Within reason, yes.

Power supplies are equal in importance to amplifier circuits. Crucial.

Subwoofers are an unnecessary luxury. Not always. I have a love of Bach organ works. I need a decent sub.

Parts quality affects performance. Sometimes and in some applications, but you need to define 'quality' or it's meaningless.

Single driver speakers are better than multi-driver designs. There are good and bad examples of both.

Speaker size should match the room. Size, for once, is immaterial.

Cables matter. If you don't have any, it will be remarkably quiet. Sometimes, that's a good thing.

Vibration isolation products are snake oil. Depends. For a turntable, it matters a lot, although many things sound better with coupling not decoupling.

That’s quite a list and we start with item number one in tomorrow’s post.

Stay tuned.

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You may disagree.

Edited by rabski
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Super Wammer
20 minutes ago, tuga said:

That settles it then, we're all in agreement. :^

That’s good going within less than 24 hours!  

I find the first point perhaps the most interesting, as it’s quite widely believed and yet not especially explainable.  Come to think of it, that’s why debates get heated, because they invariably boil down to beliefs, based upon auditioning.  

Does anyone remember when it was postulated that we ‘hear’ through our eyes at very high frequencies, so that specs wearers like myself should listen with them removed?

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