The system is the measure of the man (or woman)?

Non-Smoking Man

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If you get 'out and about' a bit (as I do, on the Wam Taxi, and at the bake offs, Shows and wotnot) you are confronted with (and have been confronted with in the past 50 years in my case) an array of systems and their authors.

What do you make of them both? Its all a bit bewildering, innit? We know who is the fastest male or female over 100m cos the clock tells us. But with with sound quality the clue is in the word 'quality' i.e. we cant measure it with an instrument ( a clock) but we can 'gauge' it with our ears. IME at bake offs a consensus emerges.

Its not easy to make comparisons without a bit of rigour regarding common sources such as an LP or a CD, or a streamer, but nonetheless we all form an impression, and its impossible not to, of what the owner is doing and what he has achieved. And my experience is that there is plenty of consensus about what is a good sound.

So in this thread I advocate the 'arrow' is firmly pointed at the man (or woman) whose theories about system building, matching, experience, and set up know how is exemplified in their SOUND.
I want to characterise the owner of a separates system as a DESIGNER, who has a responsibility for the results.

So when somebody says ' I heard The Flash's system, or Psilonaught's system, or Rabski's system' I am recognising their pivotal role in thinking the system through and choosing its components. by those individuals.

In effect I'm taking away the qualities of the individual components and placing the emphasis on the mind behind the system.

Jack
 

toms wait

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Having just bought and altered your Jantzen/TQWT speakers what does this say?
When offering to buy them, my thoughts were they are a bigger version of the Impulse, bigger driver and bigger box. After tweeking they are now indeed sounding like a bigger more open newer and accurate version of my H6 which evolved over 30 years, to what became my "house" sound. The AI500 similarly altered also fits my house sound.
 

lostwin

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I was asked at the Stoke show how I built my system, what process did it involve?

I kind of floundered around with my answer, as in many ways I feel like I have learned on the job - this forums guidance being invaluable.

Reflecting on it now, my main stamp on the system - the bit that has my personality - is the tweaks and fine tuning. I love doing that and I think that comes through with the sound of the system I have now.
 
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Amormusic

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Perhaps I'm missing the point Jack. But 'comparisons of what an owner has achieved'... Mmm... Frankly, I personally, don't give a fig what anyone else thinks of my system. It puts a fat smile on my face every day.

A designer and results. Come on dude. I like music, let's not mess about now. My budget may be much higher or lower than the next person, does that matter... No.

Why should I achieve some level of achieving status from listing to music. If my kit costs more than yours or less, or sounds better, or worse on your or anyone elses opinion, why does that matter?

I measure kit and music in grins. If I grin my bollax off, it's good. If I don't it's shite. How much it costs or who else thinks I have or haven't achieved some or other musical mission is just codswallop I'm afraid.

Sorry, I don't agree with this post.
 

Non-Smoking Man

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With respect, I think you have missed the point Amormusic. I'd be happy to discuss it when we next meet . I notice the use of 'I' a lot in your response. I think its the importance if the 'I' that I was trying to get at..

Jack
 

audio_PHIL_e

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IMO a person's system is an expression of their tastes (possibly constrained by circumstances including spouses, available finance etc) ... I've often been interested to hear other people's systems even though I know their tastes and constraints aren't the same as mine.
 

tackleberry

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Funny one this really.

I’ve spent probably 35 years listening to systems, probably 20 of those listening seriously. Not in the way that some people do or describe, but for what I did or didn’t like about sound presentation. Not the cost, looks, power or size etc. and I find a lot of the time I find people really lose track or sight of what they set out to do in the first place for these reasons.
 

rabski

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I get it Jack. There are a few people who have helped me in the path towards where I am now, simply because their systems have the sort of presentation I want, so I've been able to 'follow their lead' in some ways.

The difficulty though is that it's damned near impossible to describe. Also, despite the number of different things we listen to and the systems we hear, it's our own tastes that colour the descriptions.

If I'm reviewing something I try to be as objective as possible and describe things accurately, but at the end of the day, I'm still describing things the way I hear them. Experience suggests others may well hear totally different things.
 
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Amormusic

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Happy to discuss. Probably I am missing it Jack 🙂, but to quote you:

'but nonetheless we all form an impression, and its impossible not to, of what the owner is doing and what he has achieved'

Hence my comment - I like my sound for me. Which may be better or worse than the next persons, but I don't care about this, as my sound is one I am happy with.

I think I've missed the point.
 

rabski

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On a more serious side note, context matters as well. If anyone judged my system on how it sounded at Stoke, it's very different here (fortunately, a f*** of a lot better).
 

rabski

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You are almost making the case that bake-offs are better than shows.
For a more accurate 'picture' they definitely are. But then the opportunity for comparison is lost. As is the opportunity for the craic, which overrules everything else.

Ye cannae have it all laddie.
 
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tackleberry

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For a more accurate 'picture' they definitely are. But then the opportunity for comparison is lost. As is the opportunity for the craic, which overrules everything else.

Ye cannae have it all laddie.
Absolutely they are. Not sure about the comparison thing though.
 

savvypaul

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I'm not entirely sure that I understand the premise of the OP. We don't buy (or 'curate') our end game system at the start of the game, or even have any clear understanding of what the end game actually is, let alone have a plan of how to get there. That's because we begin by marvelling at how the first 'proper' hi-fi thing we hear sounds so much better than the radio in our dad's ford cortina. If we don't feel the need to stop at that point, it's usually because we still hear something wrong. And, that's when it gets complicated

Most systems do a reasonable number of hi-fi 'sound' things, at least reasonably well. Once you spend a certain amount of cash it's difficult to buy something completely hopeless. I could find positives in most (probably all) of the systems that I heard at Stoke, but wanting to live with any of them in the long term would be a different question. That's a comment about me, not your system.

If you want to know what is right for you then I think you have to get to be the best you can at knowing what is wrong for you. Someone here recently called it something like 'hearing the wrongness'. That's an experienced listener. Brilliant listeners can tell what is wrong within about 20 seconds. It takes most of us a lot longer, which is one of the reasons why there is lots of box swapping going on. One of the cheapest systems at Stoke was in the Lenco room. It was a fairly ubiquitous, bland 1990s combination of amp and speakers that I wouldn't usually think I would want to listen to, but it worked ok because it did nothing obviously wrong. It was probably considered a bit naff in hifi terms - resolution, transparency, dynamics etc - but it did not get in the way of the purpose of enjoying records. It wasn't created by any mission or higher purpose - they said it was what they had around at the time. But, there are systems that cost tens of thousands of pounds, and years to put together, that you couldn't pay me to take home, because for all the things they do that 'impress' me, they do something wrong that niggles me, despite everything else. In short, they do something that gets in the way of my music.

I always come back to the core purpose. I want to enjoy my music longer and deeper - I want to stay up later and later and I want more and more hairs to stand up on the back of my neck. When I think I've got enough of both, I can stop thinking about what's wrong. But you can't design anything near right before you know how to recognise wrong.

Many audiophiles appear to be seeking universal formulas to understand subjective taste. That is a waste of time. You have to become your own expert
 
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