Does this all mean that it's not worth upgrading my amp? I was thinking of upgrading my 12 year old Roksan Caspian MK1 for something better. It still performs admirably ( I think) although the volume knob makes a crackle when I turn it up or down (does this affect sound quality? and do you know why it does this?) but I keep wondering if I could improve on quality. Problem is cost of an improvement would probably be more than £1000, which seems a lot these days for just an amp. Or am I wrong? The other dilemna is that I just don't like or trust the auditioning process. That is, I don't trust my ears or the retailer.
The amp probably just needs a service, the volume control may need a clean.
The caspian was a good amp and so should still be, so if you are otherwise happy, I'd keep it. Speaker changes would probably reap more rewards, or perhaps have a look at optimising your room acoustics if needed.
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Thanks. How do you clean the volume control? and what do you think I should expect to pay for a serivce? is this really worthwhile?
It depends if the volume pot is sealed or not. You could try starting with using canned air to dust away any deposits in the volume control in the amp, if this doesn't work, then try with contact cleaner and 'work' the control knob as you wash out any deposits, dry with the compressed air and give it a while to dry before switching on again.
Failing that, a replacement should not be exhorbitant if needed.An electronics repair centre should be able to do the job without a problem.
The problem with all this scare mongering of people "not hearing what they're hearing", is that it shakes their confidence when going for a demo.
It is quite valid (and helpful) to be aware of the phenomenon, but it shouldn't put you into a state of paralysis.
Go for your demo, and preferably bring someone else to confirm what you hear. I have generally (though not always) found that you need to double what you spend, in order to get a significant improvement over what you have.
IMO. You can trust your ears more than some would have you believe.....but saying that, never rush a decision.
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The other dilemna is that I just don't like or trust the auditioning process. That is, I don't trust my ears or the retailer.
The fact that you're questioning yourself is a good thing. Don't let your worries put you off. Demoing kit isn't about sitting back and letting the sound wash over you; it's about listening and constantly asking yourself questions about what you're hearing. IMHO, of course. But I really do think doubt is a good thing.
What classical music are you listening to?
The volume knob cab be pulled away, bot is attached by a wire (I assume to make it electronic). Do you think that the crackle heard when moving it, is likely to affect sound quality. Also, how much should I expect to pay for a service?
It uses one of the ubiquitous Alps motorised volume potentiometers. (Blue or Black probably, but I can't tell for sure.)
At worst you will need to pop the lid and write down every identifying letter/number and see how much a replacement costs. (Alps make lots of variants so ensure it is the right one.)
After that you just need a competent service engineer to install the new one. It shouldn't cost a fortune.
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Doubt it affects the sound quality probably just needs some contact cleaner. IMO you will not get much upgrade for under £1,000, I would keep what you have.
If you are anywhere near London, contact Roksan service here.
Ask them what they would charge just to change the pot, nothing else.
They are easily found, just off the A6 Edgware Rd, half a mile or so north of the North Circular.
Take it to them yourself, ask if they can do it while you wait if you make an appointment, tell them you are coming a long way.
If that does not work or if you live too far, ask them to send you the correct part, anyone competent with a soldering iron can fit it.
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And these towns all look the same,
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And wander 'round backstage,
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as Julian Vereker and Ivor used to say, if you can't hear the difference, then you aren't worth speaking to.
I heard many amps so far, but I chose to buy Naim, and like it a lot.
Different amps for different people, sure. Some people like their hi fi amps, but I prefer to hear real music, hence naim.
Don't quite get what all the fuss about cryus is about, but plays a clean sound which I am sure appeals to many people here.
Thank you for reinforcing my dislike for both brands. It was a damn-fool comment back then & damn stupid one to quote now. You have highlighted what is wrong with the British Hi Fi in one sentence.
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of course different amps sound different. it's easy to hear the difference in various naim amps.
Naim are supposedly known for their Pace, Rhythm and Timing - the acronym for which could not be more apt in this instance.
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I don't understand how any amplifier can "inject" any of these things! I think people greatly overestimate the effect of an amplifier. In my opinion you just need something neutral. I think speakers are about 1000% more important.
The more amps I hear, the more important I believe them to be with the regard to the effect they have on the system. Speakers can only shine if matched to the appropriate amp (imo).
But how does it happen CNo? I respect your opinion because you obviously have studied the subject. However over the years whenever I've auditioned systems I've never heard much difference between amps and I've heard oodles of difference between speakers. Obviously you have to have an amp that can drive the speakers but putting that to one side I seriously don't get it!
What's this "timing" thing? What does that mean?
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