The secret of high fidelity is actually an open secret. Many of us who enjoy this hobby face a huge financial strain to get the musical equipment we dream of, which means we need to firmly plan how our team will grow and in what components. we want to invest our savings. And that is not easy. This is usually not the case for seasoned audiophiles, so it’s understandable that those new to the hobby should be left in a sea of doubts.
Unfortunately, there is no foolproof formula that dictates how we can get the most out of our money, but there is a strategy accepted by a large base of enthusiasts that I agree with and that anyone who thinks reasonable can keep. . This is the open secret I told you about in the first line of this article, and it vehemently defends, and with solid arguments, that the most important components of any hi-fi system are the speakers and the room in which we install it. Electronics and cables are relegated to an inconspicuous background, so we can already figure out which items we could be spending most of our budget on.
Some speakers adapted to our room will not disappoint us
Some argue that the speakers are more important than the room. And also who makes sure that the characteristics of the room and its acoustics are more important than the speakers. One of the people who put the speakers above everything else, while also recognizing the enormous importance of the room, is Peter McGrath, sound engineer, Wilson Audio export manager, and more importantly. , a guru respected by thousands of audiophiles around the world. During his stay in Madrid in mid-October 2019 to participate in a high fidelity conference organized by the Valencian importer Sarte Audio Elite, McGrath assured that for him the most important element of a Hi-Fi team are the speakers. Then, in order of relevance, he placed the room and its acoustics. And finally, electronics.
Most of the quality speakers have a very strong sound personality, which allows them to stand out clearly when listening blind
I agree with this view, but it also seems reasonable to give the play maximum importance. I think what we amateurs want to value when we strive to design our musical equipment and allocate some of the savings that we have managed to collect with so much effort is that speakers and room are essential. I don’t think it’s really important to put one of these before the other. Of course, I fully support that both have a much deeper impact on sound than electronics and cables.
Fortunately, it is not essential that we invest a fortune to get good speakers. There are relatively affordable models that are well designed and have meticulous construction, which allows them to perform well if the other elements accompany them (in the article I am linking here we offer some). In any case, what is really interesting is that most of the quality speakers He has a very strong sound personality, which makes it possible to differentiate them with a certain clarity in blind listening. This usually does not happen with other elements of the team. Distinguishing one CD player from another on the same computer, even if one costs a few hundred dollars and the other several thousand dollars, can be very difficult if the test is done in a rigorous manner that does not benefit none of them. .
Fortunately, it is not essential that we invest a fortune to get good speakers.
With the other elements that shape the electronics of the equipment, like the preamplifier, amplifier or DAC (if we decide to get a dedicated one), the same thing usually happens: in a blind test Done honestly and rigorously, they are generally difficult to tell apart, but not impossible. However, when these differences appear they are generally subtle. This is rarely the case with pregnant women. The materials used in the construction of your speakers, the design of your speaker and how it minimizes or emphasizes vibration (both strategies are viable), and the architecture of the frequency-divider filter which ensures that each speaker receives only the frequency range the spectrum it is able to reproduce has an impact on the sound which is almost always evident.
Ideally, users should be able to listen to the speakers they like before purchasing them. The acoustics of the room we’re going to listen to them in will likely be very different from our home, and that difference will leave a very clear mark on their sound. But at least we can get a more or less certain idea of its resolution, dynamic capability, subjective frequency response, and also how they manage to recreate the soundstage. Everything can change when we get them home, but at least we can figure it out what can we expect from them and if they really match our musical preferences.
Everything we have discussed so far invites us to consider how important it is to choose sound boxes that are suitable for the dimensions and sonic properties of the room in which we are going to install them. High volume speakers probably won’t be able to do their best in a small room. Chances are they will give us a poorly defined low end and a diffuse, less expansive soundstage than expected. It’s also not a good idea to use small monitors to fill a large room with sound. They can’t give us a serious end with a punch. Nor to recreate a large enough soundstage. Much less fills the room with a realistic sound pressure level. In this context, the ideal is that users who have doubts let them advise by other more experienced audiophiles, or of course by professionals in this sector.
Once we have found the ideal enclosures, it will be a good idea to worry as much as possible about the acoustical conditioning of the room in which we are going to install them. Our options will be closely tied to our budget, but no one should be put off or throw in the towel. Even if your savings barely give you leeway. Users who have a comfortable economic capacity can turn to a professional who can analyze the characteristics of their room with specialized equipment to determine which mechanical-acoustic correction elements you have to enter. And anyone who can’t afford a display like this, a group that most of us fans belong to, can dramatically improve their room acoustics using some smart, homemade tricks that can help us. deliver remarkable results. If you want to know how we can approach it, let us know in the comments and maybe we can expand on that in another post.
This is the strategy we offer you to invest your savings with guarantees
As we have just seen, the speakers will define the sound personality of our team. The room in which we will install them will allow them to express themselves fully if we have treated it correctly, or on the contrary to slow them down if it does not offer them the ideal acoustic characteristics. And the electronics and cables will help us complete the equipment to adapt as much as possible to the musical aesthetic we have in mind. Of course, its impact on your sonic personality is much less pronounced. And when this happens, it is usually caused by introduce coloring into the soundIt is nothing more than a form of distortion that may appeal to some people.
The crucial role of stakeholders invites us to devote between 50 and 70% of our budget
As I confessed to you a few lines above, there is no foolproof formula that tells us what percentage of our budget we are interested in spending on speakers, room conditioning, electronics. and cables, but there is a strategy that can help us define how much money we are interested in spending on each part of the team. The crucial role of stakeholders invites us to devote them between 50 and 70% of our budget. Each user must decide which end of this range he wishes to approach based on the characteristics of his equipment. The good news is that if we’ve chosen the right speakers for our room, we can get them to perform as they should without having to invest a fortune in bass traps, diffusers, and absorbers. As I mentioned earlier, there are some homemade solutions that work very well. And, above all, they are affordable.
Finally, the electronics as a whole, which consists of the source (CD or SACD player, vinyl turntable, network music player, etc.), the preamplification and amplification, we propose to devote the remaining budget, who goes from 30 and 50% of the total. In our opinion, you don’t have to worry much about interconnect cables, which are the ones that carry the audio signal between some electronic components and others, and speaker cables as they will only have one “Minimum quality to effectively perform their function.” They don’t have to be fancy, much less resort to esoteric elements to convince us that they have an impact on the sound of our equipment that they can hardly demonstrate in reality. We hope that the thoughts and tips we offer in this article are helpful for you to enjoy more of your favorite music, which really gives meaning to this rewarding hobby.
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