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Advice for Beginners....


ODS123
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59 minutes ago, Emile said:

Sorry, but think "trading up" is a lot of fun :D  Pretty hard to select Jubes/MCM's as a "beginner." Went from KG's to Heresy's, Forte's, Cornwall's, KPT-904's etc.  The "journey" was very enjoyable. :) 

Cheers, Emile

Agreed. I love this hobby as much today as I did 45+ years ago when I took my first plunge into the wonderful world of audio. 😁

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From https://www.soundandvision.com/content/klipsch-palladium-speakers (in the year 2010):

 

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...If you've been following along with a calculator, you know that a 5.1 Palladium system with two P-39F fronts, one P27C center, two P-27S surrounds, and one P-312W sub will set you back $31,500. Is such a system worth it? I suspect so.

Chris

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I believe that the Palladiums were excellent conventional HT speakers.  I wonder why Klipsch didn't retain them (3-way with horn loaded tweeter and midrange) but slim down their "aesthetics" and their price a bit so that they could appeal to the mid-level HT market so that they could be retained in the lineup.  I thought they were a definite asset to the Klipsch product suite. 

 

The setup that I refer to above is in a different class of performance, however.  It's difficult to compete with fully horn-loaded loudspeakers that control their polars down to below 100 Hz, and that pick up significant boundary (corner and wall) gain to extend their LF performance.

 

You could probably do this with full-range multiple entry horns (MEHs) -- like the Unity (Sound Physics Labs) and Synergy (Danley Sound Labs), but the costs would still be in the $10k-$12K USD range since these loudspeakers would likely have to be bought new (i.e., there are no used MEHs that are for sale). 

 

Chris

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6 hours ago, PrestonTom said:

If you guys would listen to Chris, you can save yourselves a good amount of money.

 

Although Toole does not give all the details, he found that listeners (mostly and without going to extreme examples) preferred speakers that had 1) low frequency extension and had a 2) controlled directivity (on-axis and off-axis frequency were comparable). You should also note that Roy also emphasizes the benefits of controlled directivity.

 

I would suggest doing a Google search on Toole and finding some of his longer youtube videos (especially the presentation at McGill University). He will lay out the overall issues. Keep in mind there are some subtle points that need to be carefully thought about and understood.

 

Before some of you start bashing Toole, I will say that he was a respected auditory scientist (I know, I used to be in the field). 

 

Good luck, -Tom

 

3 hours ago, Chris A said:

...Recently---within the last couple of months--I integrated a much better compression driver in the center K-402-MEH, and then went about flattening both the SPL and phase of not only the center, but I also completely revamped the Jubilee settings with the same lower order Bessel crossover filters (which have zero phase growth on the bass bins,) then I flattened the SPL even further--perhaps to ±1.5 dB from 30 Hz - 20 kHz, not counting the drop outs for room modes and microphone-boundary cancellations. 

 

...For almost everyone on the forum, I figure that their pocketbooks can't really stand doing it the "old audiophile way", which is to pick and peck through an endless march of stuff until some magic somehow just appears.  I've found that there is a much lower cost and much more effective way to get there.  It does involve measuring stuff and having sufficient adjustments available (via DSP crossover, etc.) to correct the response of the system--but it won't cost you ~$20K to get there by any stretch of the imagination.  I don't believe that you can buy this kind of performance. 

 

So when I mention that there are more important things to pay attention to, and less important ones with which to save your money by avoiding them, instead achieving the experience I described above--this is what I'm referring to.

 

Chris

You guys do realize you are posting on the "Advice to Beginners thread don't you? :) 

7 hours ago, TubeHiFiNut said:

I am talking about how a particular component connects me emotionally to the music. Has nothing to do with measurements and, in any event, I'm not talking about short term comparative testing.

Fwit, this is what most beginners and pretty much everyone else wants....That said, if I were a sophisticated beginner and had the time to research what they are talking about that would be the way to go--Both Chris and Tom know their *Stuff*, but...

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8 hours ago, Chris A said:
8 hours ago, TubeHiFiNut said:

Everyone hears differently.

Actually, Toole and Olive (JBL/Harman) have shown pretty convincingly that this isn't really the case when talking about evaluating sound quality of a sound reproduction system.  Put a collection of loudspeakers in a room for people to listen to, without them knowing which speaker they are listening to at each trial, and then repeat that test in another room with different electronics, etc., and the same rank order of the loudspeakers will appear, almost without rank reversals.

Yes and no insofar as what to consider for the beginner, I'm.. We are talking about what people hear in their own environment and price range....That said, I agree with the above about buying the best speakers you can afford and work backwards from there. :) 

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as a beginner in the early 60's, I enjoyed herb albert and marty robbins on my dad's invention, 4-15" speakers built into the den, but the 70's reveled that big L60 tires and an 8 track in a chevy vega were not forth-coming for sounding experiments and eternity.... well, still a beginner (after 60 year's) - building some sound panels this weekend . o O (shhhh~)

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On 11/3/2018 at 9:22 AM, ODS123 said:

...IMHO, your audio system quality is 99.9% about speakers, their placement, and room acoustics.  And if you’re considering Klipsch speakers, you’ve made a great choice.  They’re efficient (so you can use a cheap, modest-powered amplifier) dynamic, accurate, and durable....

Perhaps you'd be surprised to know just how uncommon this common sense actually is.  There seems to be a lot of folks--even on this forum--that forget this wisdom, and in fact deny that it's true (i.e., a loudspeaker manufacturer's forum 🤣)

 

On 11/3/2018 at 9:22 AM, ODS123 said:

These sources are very much in the same viewpoint as Peter Aczel (RIP).  While Mr. Aczel occasionally "threw the baby out with the bathwater" on hi-fi audio arguments that proclaimed what was real and false during his long association with hi-fi audio.  Generally, he said what many others wished they had the guts to say. Ethan Winer also occasionally commits this sin, but perhaps a bit less often than Aczel did. 

 

Dr. Mark Waldrep at Real HD-Audio also carries a torch for "real hi-fi" that I believe has been generally lost over the intervening decades since the pastime was invented in the late 1940s.  I think that he has a lot to say that's correct, but also not generally popular among the "audiophoolery/magic-rock" crowd.  His only failing is that he hasn't yet seen the wisdom of horn-loaded hi-fi loudspeakers...and Klipsch for that matter.  But in all other things audio, I've seen his opinions line up one-to-one with my own over the space of a few years that I've been aware of his writings.  That's significant--at least to me.

 

As far as the discussions that I've provided in this thread, their base arguments in each case are the same as you provided at the start of this thread.  There is a way to get true high fidelity audio, and you generally won't find it in the electronics.  There is a method to avoid extreme expense/low effectiveness purchases of gear (mostly electronics) that really won't get you closer to accurate hi-fi reproduction.  The focus of the mentioned method is on loudspeakers and rooms/acoustic treatments.  And you don't have to be a hi-fi audio engineer to understand it.  Anyone with a little scientific knowledge and/or technical ability--with any willingness at all--can follow along and make good informed decisions.  The problem to date is the avalanche of audiophile memes (including

 

Another older thread that generally follows this subject:

 

Chris

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2 hours ago, Chris A said:

... Perhaps you'd be surprised to know just how uncommon this common sense actually is.  There seems to be a lot of folks--even on this forum--that forget this wisdom, and in fact deny that it's true (i.e., a loudspeaker manufacturer's forum 🤣)

 

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.... Anyone with a little scientific knowledge and/or technical ability--with any willingness at all--can follow along and make good informed decisions.  

 

 

Your contributions above and in the rest of the thread are noted w/ thanks.  

 

I find it stunning that more people aren't interested in separating imagined differences from real in their approach to hifi.  In another thread about Loudspeaker Cables I suggest this simple experiment:

 

"Do this...  and decide for yourself:  Buy pricey cables from a seller who has a return policy.

 

Now, hook one of them to one channel on your pre-amp (receiver, whatever), then your current cable to the other.  Now, push your speakers close together (ie., almost touching), then play music with either your mono button pushed, or (if you don't have one) play a mono recording.  Use your balance control to switch b/w the speakers.  Here a difference?  Even better, have a friend hook up the cables without you knowing which is hooked to which channel.  Again, use balance control to switch b/w channels.  Do you hear a difference??  Please report back your results"

 

Not ONE person showed any interest in doing this.  ..Just more, "...Well, if I hear a difference, that's good enough for me!" 

 

It's strange that we buy gear designed by engineers who are clearly practitioners of The Scientific Method, then dismiss the supporting logic and rigor of the Scientific Method when we go out and buy gear.  ..For many its something more akin to tasting wines.  I can only imagine what the EE's must say about golden-eared hi-fi enthusiasts...  Indeed, I wonder what Paul W. Klipsch would say about same.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, TubeHiFiNut said:

For me, the amp and speaker have to be complementary.

 

My preference is to use SE amps on my Klipsch. This combination facilitates the emotional connection with the music that I seek.

 

Again, just my opinion.

 

Meaning what?  Yes, the amp must be able to provide enough power to drive the desired loudspeakers without distorting.  ..Which nowadays is very easy, quite affordable  and does not require anything having to do w/ emotions.   

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1 minute ago, ODS123 said:

 

Meaning what?  Yes, the amp must be able to provide enough power to drive the desired loudspeakers without distorting.  ..Which nowadays is very easy, quite affordable  and does not require anything having to do w/ emotions.   

Your method of choosing an amplifier is not the only one out there. 

 

You are free to use whatever criteria you choose to use when selecting any of your components.

 

And so am I.

 

To me, music, and the enjoyment of music, is a highly emotional experience. I choose to select components that facilitate that emotional connection to the music.

 

Just my opinion.

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I remember way back in 89, I bought a set of ADS tower speakers, a good speaker for $900.00. Well I needed an amp since my trusty Concept 5.5 from the now defunct Pacific Stereo was having amplifier issues. Anyhoo I went to our local stereo shop and brought home a Onkyo amp around 150 wpc. Had a month to return it if I didn't like it. About a week later I went to another store in San Francisco and took home a Yamaha mx800 amp. About 170 wpc. The Yamaha was so smooth and so much better, than the Onkyo. The Onkyo was nasty through the upper mid-range and especially the high end. Luckily these days amps are closer in sound, and don't have the nasty's that the Onkyo had. My point though is amps can and do make a big difference, especially when you climb up the price scale. If you don't believe it hook up a bargain Sony/Yamaha receiver under $500.00, then hook up same speakers to say a McIntosh mc275 with a matching preamp. If you can't hear a difference, you don't need a new stereo, you need your hearing checked!

Sent from my N9131 using Tapatalk

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27 minutes ago, TubeHiFiNut said:
33 minutes ago, ODS123 said:

 

Meaning what?  Yes, the amp must be able to provide enough power to drive the desired loudspeakers without distorting.  ..Which nowadays is very easy, quite affordable  and does not require anything having to do w/ emotions.   

Your method of choosing an amplifier is not the only one out there. 

I can't imagine there is much difference in Solid State amps once the speaker's power requirements are met but DO realize if you throw tubes into the mix then there could be some sound coloring, which evidently some people like for music--That's my take. It appears that two-channel folks like to tinker in this regard but for Home Theater once you provide enough current to drive the speakers efficiently and set up your room, make sure you  have a current processor to decode the material you plan to listen/watch...

 

All that being said, there are a few bells and whistles  that are valuable, including EQ programs and upconverting older codex to pleasing multispeaker configurations.

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I find that anytime the word "synergy" arises in audiophile posts, it means "I don't understand what is happening, but I like the resulting sound with the music I'm currently playing".

 

Before you rush to jump on that bandwagon, consider this:  when you ask someone that is testing system components what synergy means, the usual reply from all engineers that I've asked is "well, it generally means that some non-ideal performance in one part of the system improperly interacts with and partially offsets non-ideal performance in another part".  In other words, it implies that there was something undesirable in at least two places, but when put together and allowed to (improperly) interact, by the roll of the dice they seem to hide undesired characteristics in both parts of the system--at least during the time when certain types of audio program material are playing on the system. On the surface of the situation, at this point I think it's clear that improper interactions are not desirable.

 

When you begin to drill down to understanding what is actually happening, usually what occurs is that the knowledge gained about the audio system under test are used to eliminate characteristics that lend themselves to "synergy" so that the performance is robust with whatever components are hooked together (i.e., module independence from other modules is a fundamental design precept in linear system theory). 

 

Such is the case with zero feedback single-ended tube amplifiers, which interact improperly with listening rooms that are too small and very efficient horn-loaded loudspeakers that also act as microphones to returning echos, which then return echo delays in the form of electrical reaction signals to the output tubes as delayed feedback (a bad thing)...inside the triodes themselves.  This is audible on decays within the music/audio program material.

 

If you want to add tight reverb to add "apparent room depth", I recommend adding a good reverb unit instead to avoid reducing the stability margin of your amplifiers.  And besides being more stable, at least then you can turn it off when its characteristics become undesirable.

 

Chris

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