I think one of the most important aspects of a good Hi-Fi set-up and indeed the enjoyment gained from listening to it is getting the balance right. I've not heard a Hi-Fi at any price that can re-create, for example, a drum kit accurately - the power and dynamics just can't match it. A small pair of speakers with 5" drivers on a 30 watt amp stand no chance...
True. But some systems get a lot closer to recreating the illusion of a drum kit than others. So that many systems sound more like a hi-fi system than a drum kit, whilst others sound vaguely like a drum kit and not particularly like a hi-fi system.
For some people their hi-fi system is a piece of furniture that are happy to look at and share their living space with that also plays their music to an acceptable standard. For me my hi-fi system is a tool for getting the most enjoyable sound out of my music collection. The most enjoyable sounding hi-fi for me is the one that makes my music sound most like a live performance. Even if it's a series of in-booth recordings multi-tracked together you've still got actual musicians playing actual instruments.
I also find that I enjoy a good recording of a style of music that I'm not particularly into more than I enjoy a poor recording of a style of music that's right up my street. Whilst of course, most enjoyable of all is a good recording of one of my favourite types of music.
This is a quote from another thread:
You make a valid and very interesting point there Jim. For me the interest in hifi equipment and my love of actually listening to the music are two completely separate things.
Speaking as an amateur as far as understanding the equipment is concerned I find it fascinating learning about how things like speakers, amplifiers, digital audio and even cables ( ) work. But on the other hand when I'm actually listening to the music I rarely think about any of those things, I just enjoy the music for what it is. In fact part of the reason why I bought an 'all in one' hifi system is because it allows me to just sit back and enjoy the music without feeling the need to keep tweaking the system.
When I'm not at home I often listen to music on a little £12 portable speaker plugged into an MP3 player. I find that even though the sound quality isn't anywhere near as good as the hifi system at home I still enjoy listening to music just as much.
It's similar to other things like cars. I enjoy reading about cars because I like to understand things like engines, differentials and how different materials work. I also enjoy driving but when I'm sitting behind the wheel I rarely consider the mechanical side of what's happening, I just enjoy the experience.
What are your opinions on this?
What do you enjoy the most? The music, the equipment or both?
Are they two separate things for you or part of the same thing?
Two separate things for me.
Music is an art form.
HiFi reproduction is a science.
Music is mostly enjoyed/experienced at the most intense and intimate level for me personally, by actually playing an instrument or singing - or one can read the score and hear the music playing in ones head, or one can attend live concerts. The composers art can be appreciated in a car, via iPhone + headphones, or a bedroom clock radio.
An high quality, neutral and transparent, high resolution HiFi designed with rigour to known scientific and psycho-acoustic principles at the highest levels, allows a more believable, or realistic illusion of a live performance than what a car stereo, iPhone + headphones, or a bedroom clock radio can manage, and the experience can be shared with others - which is a social advantage.
The art form, is the music, the musical instruments played and the artists who play them; the HiFi is defined by scientific principles, is not an art form or a musical instrument - merely a 'reproducer' of sound to an as accurate a degree as the laws of science and physics allows.
However, for some audiophiles, the music becomes a medium by which to listen to and assess the capabilities of the system as regards it's reproducing abilities, and hence the two become both conjoined and confused.
These audiophiles become very obsessed with the sound of kit, as against listening to the music played upon it, and venture into all sorts of casting of rune stones and pseudo science - another aspect of the hobby interesting and valuable enough in itself to those who indulge in it, pehaps, - but ultimately one that has little to do with music as an art form, and instead tends to create mere differences in the sound of the kit, as against actually advancing the reproduction per se.
I'd also argue the life is all about balance, and like all hobbies taken to excessive degrees, one can end up missing out on the bigger picture of life - HiFi after all is an adjunct to ones hopefully varied life and other interests.
Music definitely comes first.
But I agree with CnoEvil, the better the sound, the more pleasure.
My next purchase within a year or so will hopefully be some full range active floorstanding speakers. Not sure where to start looking though.
“Out beyond ideas of wrong and right, there is a field.
I'll meet you there."
As an AVI 9.1 owner, surely the ADM40's?
Such a move would also allow a matched and fully active AV system - not to be sneezed at IMHO....
Just a thought mind... there are other options of course....
Mmm . . . got me thinking . . . reading some of the self important, self indulgent waffle, almost made me move on. Then I thought; the two thing as far as I am converened are seperate entities that I take pleasure in joining to gether to give a performance for my benefit to appreciate and enjoy. To do this I have to be the technician and the audiance . . . I consider my roll as the conductor of an orcestra, he moulds the performance in rehersals to 'his way, his interpritation' of the original composition, which will eventualy be presented to an audiance.
. . . therefore the same piece of music will sound totaly differant depending on conductor, simples . . . :grin:
Begs a question; art form, whose, the composer, the orcestra or the conductor . . . is there a right or wrong way?
Prob 90% of my listening is when I'm walking the dogs (usually a couple of hours a day)
On an iPhone 4S through its own speaker in my jacket pocket.
I'm lucky with the hifi I have, bu if I went bankrupt tomorrow it wouldn't be the end of the word (in music terms).
TV room : Samsung 60" plasma-ATV3, -AVI ADM40,/Sonos ZP90,, Sky using Sonos for On Demand, PS3
HiFi : Sonos ZP90 - AVI ADM9 RSS + AVI SUB
Bedrooms : 2 x Sonos Play 3
IPad Mini for Sonos & Spotify / AKG K551
If they had been a 3-way it would be a given. And there is a no return policy at the moment, and I can't trial them so easily (here in Sweden) Given the money I'd go for some Meridan ESP7200, but they are a little rich for my blood. I am keeping my options open and looking at the 2nd hand market too. Some old ATC's would probably fit the bill
Such wonderful satire, bravo indeed!
Formerly known as al7478...
HC: Panasonic PXP 42 V20; Panasonic DMP BD35; Humax Foxsat-HDR
Music: Optical out from Asus P7H55-M Motherboard into AVI ADM 9.1 speakers.
"Music will provide the light you cannot resist"
You should perhaps consider flying over for a dem. I heard them recently, you would not believe how good they are.
Synology NAS + ATV2 > ADM9RS
I personally like large variety of music from pumping dance, 70's, 80's and 90's pop, rock and indie through to jazz. I enjoy my music whether it is on the hifi, in the car or on my iPod.
The best experience is on the hifi, I really enjoy hearing instruments sound clear and a sound that has the power to be felt not just heard. For this I need hifi in my life. But like I say I can still enjoy music on other stuff, I'm not an audiophile snob. My main source now is the iPod all be it on a quality Arcam dock going through my amp, but still even though it isn't 'quite' as good as CD the convenience of have non stop playlists for hours on end so I can just hear the music without inteription is so worth it.
If your system sounds good enough to you then it should just be the music you listen to not the gear. But the gear is an essential as far as I'm concerned.
Another thing to consider is that most commercial recordings are far from perfect anyway, so in some cases music can sound worse on better equipment.
Which Arcam dock are you using? (Their drDock is their 3rd one). If not the drDock, then most importantly which iPod are you using?
Arcam Solo Mini/Monitor Audio RX1/Cambridge Audio 751BD/Samsung 37” LCD
Good post. I agree completely.
..and welcome to the WHF forum Jon.
PC > AVI Neutron Five 2.1 Sony NWZ-A847 64GB Walkman > Westone UM3x
That's the funny thing for me. Having better clarity does indeed make listening more enjoyable and if I had the money to spare I too would be happy to drop a few grand on some top of the range active speakers.
However, paradoxically while agree that better clarity does = more enjoyment I also find that when listening to my tinny little £12 portable speaker I can still enjoy the music just as much as I can on a good quality hifi system.
(I know that last sentence doesn't really make sense. )
I often find that I enjoy listening to music best in my car on the way to work in the morning after my first cup of coffee.
Perhaps the most important component of any system regardless of size & cost is a responsive endorphine gland?
MF AMS-Primo / MF AMS-35P / Linn Akurate DS / Kef Reference 205/2 / Krix Epicentrix / Focal Dome 2 / JL Audio Fathom F110 & F112 / Yamaha RX-Z7 / Oppo Nuforce BDP-93 / PS3
Makes total sense Steve. Most of my listening is done in the kitchen if I add up the hours. 2 Gale mini monitors and a Denon mini system. Speakers placed where there is room in no way beneficial to the sound. And yes, I still enjoy it very much.
Although "just as much"...not for me. Occaisionally I can go and sit by the PC, grab a couple of tinnies, read the forums, edit some photos, do some development or whatever and have the ADMs sing. Or have the house to myself and sit in my living room and have my Dalis sing. And it's certainly "more enjoyable" simply because I can be in the zone with better reproduction and all the notes. Not just those to around 80Hz!
As for faffing around searching for minute improvements, that's behind me. And in fact, thinking on it, my search for "full range" speakers will include passives too, especially knowing that a decent AV amp will provide perfectly good amplification.
Arcam ir Dock, 4th gen iPod touch, CD's ripped using apple lossless or 256kbs downloads. It does the job for me. The biggest difference between that and my Sony CDP-XB930 CD player is the 1.2 volts difference in the output stages of the two. I need to turn the volume dial higher for the iPod but sound quality wise the differences are minimal.
NAD C326BEE Amplifier, Sony CDP-XB930 CD Player, Pioneer PDR-509 CD Recorder, Arcam irDock with iPod Touch, B&W DM 601 S3 speakers, Jamo 20"Stands, Revolver Rack, QED cabling throughout, Sennheiser HD 518 & HD 565 Ovation Headphones, Beyerdynamic DTX-101iE ear buds.
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