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i_should_coco

Should we have an adequate-fi section?

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Yes, I think that's true. I've learnt not to worry about what I can't hear. On the point of measurements/accuracy vs. 'sounding good', I suspect people who like electronic music might find 'pleasant' distortions of the kind valve amps and turntables produce more tolerable than people who prefer classical and acoustic music, where the absence of audible distortion allows one to appreciate the timbre of the instruments rather than the hifi. Electronic music is composed of artificial sounds anyway, so what the hell.

Currently sitting in a rehearsal for Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, pondering how wrong that statement is for me.

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Why is the concept of 'adequate' so hard to understand?

As awkwardbydesign says, it's generally understood to mean, 'inadequate'.

In audio circles, I think the problem has been that ongoing technical improvements in electronics haven't yielded audible gains, so what's technically 'the best' exceeds adequacy by a considerable margin.

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Currently sitting in a rehearsal for Humperdinck's Hansel und Gretel, pondering how wrong that statement is for me.

For me, it's spot on. I don't want to hear any contribution from the hi-fi. That being said, provided it isn't massive, it actually doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the music as much as I might once have claimed.

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Light relief?

http://www.lidl.co.uk/en/our-offers-2491.htm?action=showDetail&id=19002

I KNEW I'd regret selling my LPs?

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As awkwardbydesign says, it's generally understood to mean, 'inadequate'.

In audio circles, I think the problem has been that ongoing technical improvements in electronics haven't yielded audible gains, so what's technically 'the best' exceeds adequacy by a considerable margin.

- - - Updated - - -

For me, it's spot on. I don't want to hear any contribution from the hi-fi. That being said, provided it isn't massive, it actually doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the music as much as I might once have claimed.

I think technical improvements have made audible gains, such as 8th order crossover/DSP units at very reasonable prices, room correction for Subwoofers and Speaker Systems are so powerful and were unheard of in the domestic environment, even 10 years ago.

Then the new Class D N Core type stuff is a revelation.

And the general improvements in active speaker technology have been huge, from cabinet design, drive unit manufacturing and built in DAC's.

I have no idea what adequate means for me, but it changes with age. Unfortunately, I always want a bit more after putting up with adequate for a while.:nerves:

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I think technical improvements have made audible gains, such as 8th order crossover/DSP units at very reasonable prices, room correction for Subwoofers and Speaker Systems are so powerful and were unheard of in the domestic environment, even 10 years ago.

Then the new Class D N Core type stuff is a revelation.

And the general improvements in active speaker technology have been huge, from cabinet design, drive unit manufacturing and built in DAC's.

I have no idea what adequate means for me, but it changes with age. Unfortunately, I always want a bit more after putting up with adequate for a while.:nerves:

I agree that the improvement occasioned by inexpensive DSP products has been very welcome.

As to adequacy changing with age, it changes as our requirements change. A two-seater car may be perfectly adequate for a young couple, inadequate once a child arrives.

A 10 watt amplifier may be perfectly adequate for a smallish room and efficient loudspeakers. Inadequate if the room or the loudspeakers change.

It must always be relative to the requirement.

S

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When I buy a new record and play it I never say " that's really adequate" if it blows my mind. I usually say " That's out of this freaking world!!"

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Again, it depends on what the specification is. Adequate only has relevance when compared with the rewquirement.

To me, a SET amplifier IS inadequate, as it has all sorts of technical limitations that render it inadequate as a linear amplification device.

To someone who loves the sound, it is perfectly adequate.

Adequate just means it fulfills YOUR requirements.

S

I know thats your view on set amplifiers Serge,

you are right, if you enjoy the way a system reproduces the music thats as adequate as you may need...

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When I buy a new record and play it I never say " that's really adequate" if it blows my mind. I usually say " That's out of this freaking world!!"

But that's because there isn't a specification and a metric for the enjoyment you derive fom a new record. Without that, there's nothing to compare it with and therefore no way of judging the adequacy or otherwise of the record. On the other hand, you do have a requirement that the record be enjoyable. If you didn't enjoy it, even on subsequent listenings, it fails to meet that specification point, so it could at a stretch be labelled as inadequate.

S

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... Adequate is a half arsed concept in my book. Actually, I find the idea of adequate crushingly dull. The word doom would describe it! :D

I know you won't Ritchie, but don't ever try to sell anything to the government. Honest to God, here's a picture of the 'repair' they did to a pothole in the road outside my house a couple of weeks ago.

Roaddisrepair_zps610faf59.jpg

I thought about phoning up and complaining but having worked, in a sense, for HMG for decades I just knew what they would say - "Nothing needs doing, it's up to the standard we've set" which, in their terms, means it's 'adequate'. We had the first proper frost last night. If we have many more I reckon it won't last the winter.

VB

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I don't feel this 'doom' Serge. The very fact the hobby can be stretched out into infinity is one of it's most attractive facets for me. I enjoy trying different things, I feel no doom. Is your adherence to the concept of adequacy just to keep the doom at bay? If so, why do you project these feelings on to everyone else?

Measurements are hugely important to what I do for a living. I couldn't do without them. They are only part of the equation though. When I got enough experience as a tailor that I started to get away from the measures or at least use them as a guide only, my suits became much more stylish. Also, with what I do there is no room for adequate. I wouldn't want to tell a customer I was going to make him an adequate suit... If I had stopped learning and perfecting I wouldn't have a job. The pursuit of excellence and finding my own voice and opinion as a craftsman is what it is all about for me. I would never achieve that if I relied on the idea of adequate and just a set of measurements. I feel the same way about my hobby, it's just with audio I know very little about it! The pursuit IS the hobby...

Adequate is a half arsed concept in my book. Actually, I find the idea of adequate crushingly dull. The word doom would describe it! :D

I understand where Serge is coming from here, lets for a moment assume that amplifier that are transparent sound the same, and someone with a given system has for whatever reason decided the something missing from his system is his amplifiers fault. Well he would be forever unhappy with any further amplifier. Changing speakers, going active, getting a different cartridge all have far more dramatic changes in a system.

As for the tailoring, I would make a distinction here between art/craft/engineering. Tailoring a stylish suit has an art to it. I don't see an art in designing an amplifier, its engineering, it is fit for purpose (adequate) or it isn't, the art might come in the final case design, but to some this is utterly unimportant. I think there is more art in the acoustic side, building a good sounding set of speakers is a choice of many compromises.

For me, the art of hifi lives in the music, not the electronics, that isn't to say I don't enjoy box swapping or experimenting with amplifiers, I do, but not under any impression I'm dramatically improving sound quality. Serge clearly has an interest beyond everything being adequate, or he wouldn't have 3 turntables.

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The amount of people who are missing the context in which Serge uses the term "adequate" has been making me chuckle since this pointless thread was first posted.

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Serge applies his taste in choosing the idiosyncratic speakers he uses. By no measure of his can they be deemed transparent. So the end result, combined with his chosen electronics gives a 'flavour' of reproduction he happens to like. Basically no different, and certainly no more correct, than anyone else here's particular preferences. If he were truly interested in low distortion, he'd perhaps choose Quad ESL's or even big JBL's both of which will give measurably less distortion than the B&W's. But it's a question of taste just as it is for all of us.

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