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Over engineering?


Mynameismud
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I’ve been thoroughly enjoying a Lavardin ISX for several weeks now. It's by far one of the best hifi components I've ever purchased. Looking at pics online it appears to be mostly a case full of air! It only weighs 6.5 kg.
It's not the cheapest amplifier I've owned, nor is it the most expensive, but it's clearly the best to my ears. It had instant wow factor.

I can't understand why so many of my previous amplifiers are so full of components and yet sound (to me at least) inferior. Some have been excellent, but not like this.
Even taking built in dacs, phono stages etc out of the equation the basic designs are seriously complex looking vs the Lavardin. 

Is over engineering impacting sound quality and all for show? Does packing a case with components require the manufacturer to cut corners? Needless to say I'm seriously impressed with what Lavardin have achieved with what appears to be such a simple layout. Quality over quantity perhaps? 

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I have seen lots of kit with loads of space inside.  Really pleased you like the lavardin

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Over engineering in terms of having too many components in the signal path is very much a thing.

Over engineering in terms of having - for example - an amplifier case machined from solid also happens. A huge amount of added cost for zero improvement to the sound.

Over engineering in terms of the quality of the motor and bearing in a classic vintage turntable that can be bought at a reasonable price today is pleasantly reassuring.

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26 minutes ago, lindsayt said:

Over engineering in terms of having too many components in the signal path is very much a thing.

Over engineering in terms of having - for example - an amplifier case machined from solid also happens. A huge amount of added cost for zero improvement to the sound.

Over engineering in terms of the quality of the motor and bearing in a classic vintage turntable that can be bought at a reasonable price today is pleasantly reassuring.

Agreed, it can have it's necessary advantages, particularly for mechanical components.  For a circuit board though? Seems like a lot of filler. Why do manufacturers do it I wonder? Looking at a previous Hegel I had for example vs the Lavardin, it seems excessive. Perhaps it requires more cheaper components overall to achieve an acceptable sound quality yet still stay within budget. I know little about circuit design, the lavardin could be full of cheap components too for all I know. They've designed it well though. 

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13 hours ago, Mynameismud said:

Agreed, it can have it's necessary advantages, particularly for mechanical components.  For a circuit board though? Seems like a lot of filler. Why do manufacturers do it I wonder? Looking at a previous Hegel I had for example vs the Lavardin, it seems excessive. Perhaps it requires more cheaper components overall to achieve an acceptable sound quality yet still stay within budget. I know little about circuit design, the lavardin could be full of cheap components too for all I know. They've designed it well though. 

Hi,

It depends on what you mean by over engineered, or well designed.

There is a manufacturer (naming no names) who uses minimal components, which reduces the performance of the unit, but introduces known distortions, and people love the equipment sound.

Others implement circuit design to reduce those distortions, and may have protection components for a multitude of operations, which add to the component count you have seen.

Some manufacturers charge a lot for not a lot in the box, and others charge subjectively a lower fee for quite a lot in the box.

If you like the sound of a component, then that is your choice, but i personally would not pay a lot of money for not a lot in the box. Value for money is important to me, but not to others.

Regards,

Shadders.

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On 10/06/2021 at 23:35, Mynameismud said:

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying a Lavardin ISX for several weeks now. It's by far one of the best hifi components I've ever purchased. Looking at pics online it appears to be mostly a case full of air! It only weighs 6.5 kg.
It's not the cheapest amplifier I've owned, nor is it the most expensive, but it's clearly the best to my ears. It had instant wow factor.

I can't understand why so many of my previous amplifiers are so full of components and yet sound (to me at least) inferior. Some have been excellent, but not like this.
Even taking built in dacs, phono stages etc out of the equation the basic designs are seriously complex looking vs the Lavardin. 

Is over engineering impacting sound quality and all for show? Does packing a case with components require the manufacturer to cut corners? Needless to say I'm seriously impressed with what Lavardin have achieved with what appears to be such a simple layout. Quality over quantity perhaps? 

Less is more. KISS

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8 hours ago, Shadders said:

Hi,

It depends on what you mean by over engineered, or well designed.

There is a manufacturer (naming no names) who uses minimal components, which reduces the performance of the unit, but introduces known distortions, and people love the equipment sound.

Others implement circuit design to reduce those distortions, and may have protection components for a multitude of operations, which add to the component count you have seen.

Some manufacturers charge a lot for not a lot in the box, and others charge subjectively a lower fee for quite a lot in the box.

If you like the sound of a component, then that is your choice, but i personally would not pay a lot of money for not a lot in the box. Value for money is important to me, but not to others.

Regards,

Shadders.

It’s interesting you say that actually. If someone were to ask me what the ISX sounds like I would describe it as being of the same ilk as a Nait 5si I had but with it’s flaws fixed. I thoroughly enjoyed the 5si but the ISX brings a much bigger soundstage in comparison, smoother sound, better controlled bass, a more usable   volume pot, but with the same “live” sound momentum the 5si had. The improvements across the board aren’t subtle. Better design or components I’d imagine. 

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On 10/06/2021 at 23:35, Mynameismud said:

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying a Lavardin ISX for several weeks now. It's by far one of the best hifi components I've ever purchased. Looking at pics online it appears to be mostly a case full of air! It only weighs 6.5 kg.

A bit more than air … but not much more :) 

BB0629A6-2F3C-4882-A206-3BECC53EBAF2.thumb.jpeg.fc45b835385984ad0436047f4b214f9b.jpeg

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49 minutes ago, t1no said:

A bit more than air … but not much more :) 

BB0629A6-2F3C-4882-A206-3BECC53EBAF2.thumb.jpeg.fc45b835385984ad0436047f4b214f9b.jpeg

That’s the ISX reference with optional remote volume pot which costs overall at least €1k extra. Take away that toroidal casework on the left and picture a bare toroidal, remove the two smaller blue capacitors and that’s more so the standard isx. Sounds incredible though. Looks like it shouldn’t :) 

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I have to say that I much prefer the less is more design ethos the problem comes when it is expected that we have a full size case in order to fit with other makes and equipment on a visual level . It would be better for looks if case size could be reduced but having something outside the normal does not always sell well .

Any way here is an example of over engineering that I am pretty sure has a detrimental effect on the sound quality . Sad thing is I like the original sound so at least they must work but will be interesting to hear them when all of this is replaced by digital active crossover . This is for a Two Way speaker by the way .

04LSXoversRemoved.jpg

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On 10/06/2021 at 23:35, Mynameismud said:

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying a Lavardin ISX for several weeks now. It's by far one of the best hifi components I've ever purchased. Looking at pics online it appears to be mostly a case full of air! It only weighs 6.5 kg.
It's not the cheapest amplifier I've owned, nor is it the most expensive, but it's clearly the best to my ears. It had instant wow factor.

I'm interested to hear that you like the Lavardin Integrated amp despite it short-changing you on what's inside the case!  The less junk inside the better as long as it works well and sounds great.  In fact I've had the A-80 Reference on my wish list for years but they come up so rarely used, that I'd almost forgotton the name Lavardin!  Perhaps I should get a new one on demo as I'd like an alternative power amp in my system.  In fact, apart from the integrated, there sems to be no one in the UK who keeps the power amp listed.  Peter

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The number and size of the components in a box is no indication of 'quality' and never has been. I would rather see some space and attention paid to layout than simply a great heap of average-quality components.

Complexity of the sake of it is a pain. In general, the fewer components in the signal path, the better.

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Like everything in life who decides what’s a quality component..

it’s the sum of the parts that matters ,

I’ve rarely looked inside a box to see what it’s components are , because I’m a dunce when it comes to electronics .If I like the sound and its the right price then it’s a fair deal ….

And years of experience tells you if it’s a fair price in anything ..

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1 hour ago, bencat said:

I have to say that I much prefer the less is more design ethos the problem comes when it is expected that we have a full size case in order to fit with other makes and equipment on a visual level . It would be better for looks if case size could be reduced but having something outside the normal does not always sell well .

Any way here is an example of over engineering that I am pretty sure has a detrimental effect on the sound quality . Sad thing is I like the original sound so at least they must work but will be interesting to hear them when all of this is replaced by digital active crossover . This is for a Two Way speaker by the way .

04LSXoversRemoved.jpg

There we have it, that's extreme. Looks like a case of "left a bit, right a bit, a bit more.....there have it". But if it works it works I suppose.

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