107 posts / 0 new
Last post
admin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 04/09/2013 - 14:19
Posts: 51602
IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths
English

For those who subscribe to the IET (Institute of Engineering and Technology) magazine E & T, will know that the latest issue is an audio special.

One of the sections takes a look at some hifi "myths". They basically have said that there is no evidence that bi-wiring works and that equipment burn-in does not really improve anything either.
Is this simply a bog standard Electronics Engineer not understanding the mysterious art of HiFi design or does the article have a point.

I know I was at a hifi show once and an exhibitor was demonstrating the sonic benefits of buying ever more expensive speaker cables;the only trouble is I could not hear any difference whatsoever.
Are there other myths that we need to be wary of?

 

For those who have access to this magazine I urge you to read this audio special. It contains some great information from Studio recording technology to future hifi technology. There is also an excellent article on Vinyl.

amcluesent's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 4 weeks ago
Joined: 08/03/2009 - 08:53
Posts: 429
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

>Is this simply a bog standard Electronics Engineer not understanding the mysterious art of HiFi design<

Yep. Anyone who doesn't 'get' having a linear PSU on the router or directional SATA cables is cloth-eared by definition.

Craig M.'s picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 12 min ago
Joined: 20/03/2008 - 20:10
Posts: 2904
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

i think this blog from an engineer should be required reading for anyone thinking of buying a new hifi.  it's a shame most people seem to choose to believe a marketing department over someone who actually knows what they are talking about. :wall: :help:

chebby's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 weeks 2 days ago
Joined: 02/06/2008 - 09:40
Posts: 16401
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

 .

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Creepy,

Very interesting post and link. There is a huge amount of claptrap talked about in hifi circles.  Burn in is just one of many examples. Mechanical components may well need to be run in (not burnt in), and speaker suspension can become more compliant with time - and this may change the sound. 

Electronic components however do not drift into spec through use.  No component I have ever specificied or bought has said 'these parameters will only be met after 100 hours of use' - its pure nonsense.  This is not to say equipment won't benefit by being left to warm up and to reach a stable operating temperature.  All components exhibit some form of temperature sensitivity, and it is at least possible that an amp's sound could change as it warms up.

Burn in is a technique where electronic products are run at elevated temperature to accelerate infant mortality - usually for test / commercial equipment, primarily to limit warranty claims.  Nothing to do with improving the equipment performance.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burn_in

 

 

 

   

pauln's picture
Online
Last seen: 6 days 4 hours ago
Joined: 26/02/2008 - 13:10
Posts: 705
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Craig M. wrote:

i think this blog from an engineer should be required reading for anyone thinking of buying a new hifi.  it's a shame most people seem to choose to believe a marketing department over someone who actually knows what they are talking about. :wall: :help:

Some would rather not face the truth...

Nelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: 18/04/2013 - 20:43
Posts: 87
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

just read that article so as im new to hifi that is the most helpfull article ive ever read.so the expensive stuff  looks cool but does not realy sound that much better its just your brain saying its expensive so it must sound better.i also found this article about how many watts you realy need to power speakers

http://www.sonicsense.com/blog/getting-the-most-out-of-your-equipment/how-many-watts-do-my-speakers-really-need/

Pete68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 15/11/2012 - 10:29
Posts: 226
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Some high end gear sounds better than budget, bi-wiring does have benefits for some speakers but the most important thing is getting the synergy right between componants.

Nelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: 18/04/2013 - 20:43
Posts: 87
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

but is the price difference to sonic  performance  that huge ?.is it more important to have good speakers as these at the end of the day are where everything ends up playing from

matt49's picture
Offline
Last seen: 18 hours 13 min ago
Joined: 07/04/2013 - 12:07
Posts: 2167
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Nelly wrote:

just read that article so as im new to hifi that is the most helpfull article ive ever read.so the expensive stuff  looks cool but does not realy sound that much better its just your brain saying its expensive so it must sound better.i also found this article about how many watts you realy need to power speakers

http://www.sonicsense.com/blog/getting-the-most-out-of-your-equipment/how-many-watts-do-my-speakers-really-need/

I read the blog twice, and I get a quite different meaning from it. The author certainly does think that in many cases people have pointlessly spent large amounts of money on hi-fi kit because they've been seduced by marketing, peer pressure, false measurements of the kit's performance etc. But he doesn't say that spending large amounts of money on hi-fi cannot get you better quality sound. His central point, it seems to me, and the one he returns to in his conclusion, is that the measurements provided by manufacturers are in many cases wildly inaccurate and misleading, and that they should be subject to closer scrutiny.

I'd add that anyone who reads this blog as a killer argument for the 'objectivist' party (i.e. those who think that measurement is ultimately all that matters) should re-read this paragraph:

Quote:
THE MODERATES: Just as with politics and religion, it’s not black and white. Some have a foot firmly in both the objective and subjective side of things. Some examples are John Atkinson at Stereophile, John Siau at Benchmark Media, and to some degree, myself. We value objective measurements but also trust our ears and just because we may not hear a difference we accept someone else might. I believe those in the middle are generally the most open minded.

This train … carries saints and sinners / This train … carries losers and winners / This train … carries whores and gamblers / This train … carries lost souls.

Pete68's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 15/11/2012 - 10:29
Posts: 226
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Hi-Fi/music is like art in some respects. What does it for one person might not do it for another...

BigH's picture
Online
Last seen: 25 min 12 sec ago
Joined: 29/12/2012 - 12:31
Posts: 3805
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

Nelly wrote:

but is the price difference to sonic  performance  that huge ?.is it more important to have good speakers as these at the end of the day are where everything ends up playing from

 

If what ends up at the speakers is rubbish then no, no matter how good the speakers it won't sound good. You need a decent source, not nec. expensive, some people use Blu-Ray dvd players or laptops, an amp that can amplify and control the speakers. The power of the amp. will depend on room size, sensititivity of speakers and volume level you require. As you spend more there are a lot of diminishing returns. Speakers make the most difference to how the sound sounds.

 

Nelly's picture
Offline
Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Joined: 18/04/2013 - 20:43
Posts: 87
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

so realy we should not read reviews and confuse ourself with all the jaron as these test and reviews will be nothing like our home enviroment.so to me it means is that we all have different views on what sounds good so we should just go for what we think is the best sound for us if that means £200 amp/speakers or £2000 amp/speakers.for me i love the sound that my soundcard produces through my active speakers(£70)so i thought if i buy a decent amp which i did(marantzpm6004)and decent speakers(still looking)then the sound would be more amazing.but now im thinking that i might hate the sound even if the system costs alot more.i cannot get home demos and as ive said demo rooms are so different from our real life abodes that this is realy not an option.

davedotco's picture
Offline
Last seen: 19 hours 25 min ago
Joined: 24/04/2013 - 10:02
Posts: 3790
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

First thing you need to do is to define what you are trying to do.

A thoughtful objectivist wants a system that gets him as close as possible to the original recording.

A thoughtful subjectivist wants a system that gets him as close as possible to the original performance.

Not at all the same thing.

CnoEvil's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 hours 16 min ago
Joined: 21/08/2009 - 18:01
Posts: 12701
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

davedotco wrote:

A thoughtful objectivist wants a system that gets him as close as possible to the original recording.

A thoughtful subjectivist wants a system that gets him as close as possible to the original performance.

Not at all the same thing.

Nicely put.........and the trouble comes when one side says that the other is misguided.

"We should no more let numbers define audio quality than we should let chemical analysis be the arbiter of fine wines."  Nelson Pass

Overdose's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 week 3 days ago
Joined: 08/02/2008 - 18:23
Posts: 3669
RE: IET, Bi-wiring does not work and other myths

davedotco wrote:

First thing you need to do is to define what you are trying to do.

A thoughtful objectivist wants a system that gets him as close as possible to the original recording.

A thoughtful subjectivist wants a system that gets him as close as possible to the original performance.

Not at all the same thing.

I'm not so sure. They should be the same thing, as a good recording should be able to accurately capture a performance, but venue accoustic recording limitations will be tricky to overcome and the sound reproduced on a hifi will only ever be an illusion of a live event, unless your listening room happens to be of the size of the original venue and with a suitable sound system to properly fill that space.

In my opinion, you are always better off going for as accurate a system as is possible, because there are too many other variables that have a much greater effect on what you actually get to hear, like how the recording/mastering was finished, through to room accoustics at home.

I suppose it is possible to reproduce a vocalist for example, seemingly giving a personal performance in your living room, when the recording was done in a studio, as the original 'room' that the recording was taken in, can be removed in the mastering, not so in a 'live' environment.

I also don't believe that subjectivism or objectivism has anything to do with it. In the case of a studio recording, then that original recording sound is desired. If a recording of a live event, then as close as possible to the live event sound is desirable, though much harder to quantify (and create), as the only way to tell after the event, is to listen to the recording. Way too many variables for live events though and only a close facsimilie is possible and perhaps all that is needed, to recreate an effect of atmosphere.

Pages

Log in or register to post comments