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Audio reproduction system(amp and speakers)!

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by Ammitsboel, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Hi moderators!

    What is your prefered reproduction system?
    what are your experience with different systems?

    I've spent most of my life hearing music and learning about diffenrent systems, and very intence the last year because of me starting as mastering engineer.

    I can say that what I've come up with now is the best sytem I've ever had, but no system is perfect :)

    The reason i prefer to call it reproduction systems is that "amp and speakers" for me refers to gear that collors the sound, and not as a precision component that reveals all it can from the software(LP, CD, SACD, MC, 1/4, 1/2....).

  2. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member


    > What is your prefered reproduction system? <

    I have two high quality playback systems - one in my studio and one in my living room home theater. My studio speakers are large bi-amped JBL 4430s, driven by more than 1 KW from two Crown amps. My living room has old but still excellent McIntosh speakers for the mains, a Mackie HR624 for the center channel, Advent hi-fi speakers for the surrounds, and a fabulous Carver Sunfire subwoofer.

    That said, the most important component of each system is the acoustic treatment in the room. Both rooms have a substantial amount of treatment including bass traps. I'd rather have mediocre speakers in a great room rather than the other way around. Contrary to popular belief you don't need three or more sets of speakers to compare your mixes on. All you need is one really good pair in a really good sounding room.

    > "amp and speakers" for me refers to gear that collors the sound <

    Again, the room colors the sound far more than anything else. A series of peaks and dips that span 20 dB throughout the entire low end is not only common, but typical in smallish rooms.

  3. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    You couldn't have been more right there Ethan :)
    As i stated in the "Audio Hell" posting, I belive that the audio buisness has gone the wrong way since the 1960' with multible sets of speakers as one of the failures :)

  4. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Well that's a tricky question. It's like asking what's the best food. depends on what your needs are at that moment. I tend to like a slightly forward midrange, a medium tight low end and a detailed high end. I like it to be musical yet revealing. somewhere in the middle. If the monitors are too forward sounding, then I tend to want to set the mix back to much, and vise versa. I like to be able to have them respond well to my adjustments but not make me afraid to adjust. I like my room tight so I have to find a system that lends itself well to the room. right now I have Nautilus 802 speaker powered by Perraux amps. I chose the mosfet amps because I think they are detailed but musical sounding. I wired the speakers with silver wire because I like the detail of silver, not as musical as copper but the amps makeup for it. I like the B&W's for their midrange, not my favorite for listening but easier to work on than my favorite midrange speakers, jm labs grand utopias. Dunlavy's have a very detailed high end but I found them not as enjoyable to listen to. I like paper drivers more than polypropalene(sp). for listen enjoyment, I like non metal tweeters but I find the B&W's metal tweeters to sound smoother than most. I think ribbon drivers have come a long way and i'm looking into a few for my home system. 3 way systems to me sound better than 2 way. I go back and forth between biamp and single amp.
  5. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Thanks michael!

    To my experience silver is revealing.
    You will hear many peoble that will say that silver is non-musical or hard/resonating in the top range.

    But this is actually their system that gets revealed so what your hear is resonances from the amp/preamp or DAC.
    It's simply not true that copper is more musical, copper is resonating so it colors the sound and it also feels more like you have all the material in one level. Not very detailed.

    I have silver in my amp/speakers and my DAC, I think this is the most revealing and musical system I've ever had.
    When I'm testing other systems like B&W/DALI/GENELEC/DYNAUDIO with a varity of amps i here resonances all over the place and sometimes it sounds like they are trying to cover up the resonances with copper cables all over and standart parts in the products.
    With all the systems tested it gives a falls image of what there is on the software(CD) with no dimention and detail in the music.
    Its like I had nightmares before when my amp/speakers revealed my otherwise good soundcard.

    So I've found out that in the end the musical factor and the details gets together if you have a system that fits together.


    [ October 20, 2003, 03:55 AM: Message edited by: Henrik Ammitsboel ]
  6. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    About the transistor thing:

    Analog transistor amps colors the sound with more attach. And there is also a problem with the release time I've heard.
    Anyway that results in falls reproduction of classical/acoustic and jazz music.
    POP music sounds better on analog transister amps because that's what it has been produced/mastered on and that's also why POP music often dosn't sound as good on tube amp's because of the lack of attack coloration.

    I've build a Digital amp because I belive that's the best compromise in acurate audio reproduction and the modern POP-thing.
    There is nothing wrong with pleasing POP customers :D

    If I should have both a refference tubeamp and a transistor amp i would be looking at someting like $50K :confused:

  7. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    well everything colors everything. It's just a matter of picking which color you like. I do like some of the highend copper cables and I think they can be used to offset certain components if need be. I don't think the most accurate system is necessarily the best system, depends on what your looking for or need. Tubes create harmonics which isn't the most accurate but they sure can sound pleasing. If you have a super detailed amp, copper cables might be a nice addition and smooth it out a little. This is why I don't like self-powered monitors, they don't allow you to adjust your colors. Your stuck with what you bought unless you do some serious modifacations. anyway, i'm glad that your spending a lot of attention on your monitor system. what do you have?
  8. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Thanks Michael for the kind words :)

    My system :

    Speakers : AudioNote ANE speakers with silver internal cable

    Speaker cable : some of the better copper around :)

    Power Amp : Custom build digital amp using the tripath chip with silver internal wiring.

    Right now i use a Custom build AudioNote DAC directly coupled with a silvercable to the power amp and no preamp.

    As i see it, a human voice should sound like a human voice! And the system I've heard that comes closest is tube based with a silver only signal path.
    You will also discover how good and also how different CD's can sound on such a system :(

  9. Barefoot Sound

    Barefoot Sound Active Member

    I probably deserve to get flamed for even replying to this silly conversation.

    But, my guess is this thread died because you started going off on that "silver wire" superstitious bull$@%! :roll:

  10. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Well Thomas I admit that i can't expect peoble to belive me, or not calling me names when I write that!
    I've learned that in here :D

    But I hope that even though peoble in here can't relate or simply don't belive me... that they still have interest in trying it out to see if I'm as wrong as I seme.

    I would say that a big part of my work is trying out different gear over a period of time.
    I also belive that we should share our results so we can guide others or get guidet if we are wrong.

    Happy Christmas
    Best Regards
  11. Barefoot Sound

    Barefoot Sound Active Member

  12. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Interesting Thomas reading :)

    I'm not a scientist, my area is more dedicated to listening and mastering.
    Afterall scientist's gave birth to the audio transistor amp, not listeners.

    Thomas I really apreciate you taking care in me and telling me what you think is right, that shows me that you are a nice and caring person. Thanks :)

    I haven't any scientist explanation about why silver wire is more revealing than copper wire.
    But what i have is what my ears are telling me from years of music listening experience and years of different amp/speaker configuration experience.
    The closest I am to a scientist explanation is that copper is resonating and silver is not.

    You left out a lot of information in the "Blind test" writing.
    The wire is serdently not the only thing that makes a system, you need a system that is revealing enough to be able to hear difference in speaker/signal wire and even the power cable.
    It makes sence for me that EVERY faktor in a system makes a difference.

    You are talking about "The Placebo Effect", that's serdently also the case if you belive you don't hear it.

    Every time i hear something like this i evaluate my situation one time more and every time it comes down to something as simple as "how does it sound" and "is it music that comes out of the speakers"...
    Then i realise that I'm on the right track. :)

    Best Regards
  13. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Our monitoring setup:

    ALON IV Speakers
    Bryston IV B Amplifier
    Benchmark DAC-1 D to A converter.
    Acoustics by DSM and Associates in Cleveland, Ohio
    Don Mitchell, Principal Acoustician.

    The room looks and sounds great.

    ALONs are tri wired from amp to speaker with 1.5 meters of cable. ALONs are wired with the original factory wiring.

    All other cabels are Canare, Monster or Mogami.

    Cable from DAC-1 to Bryston are 110 ohm AES/EBU low capacitance cables.

    Room is NC-20 rated.

    We have gotten excellent results from the room and mixes mastered in the room translate well into other venues.

    The ALON IVs are the only speaker I know of that you can sweep with an audio oscillator and not hear the crossover points.

    More information on other rooms would be most appreciated.

    Good posts!!!keep them coming
  14. Barefoot Sound

    Barefoot Sound Active Member

    Ok, Henrik. I've also come to learn that these types of discussions are like debating religion. "Believers" tend to have so much invested in their mythology that they refuse to listen to simple rational arguments and plain evidence.

    So, just for fun, let me call your piousness into question. :) If you were TRULY faithful to your beliefs, you would immediately dismember your loudspeaker crossovers and burn the 100 meters or so of evil, insidious copper inductors contained therein!.... replacing them with pristine, holy, white **silver** (as the angel trumpets sound). And don't forget the 100 meters of evil copper voice coil wire!...... or... dare I even utter the word........ ALUMINUM voice coils!!!!!! :( :( ;)
  15. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Huh, every A/D converter has great specs, all flat, yada yada but none the less sound very different. I could not hear the difference between cables until I built a system that could reveal the difference. There is no mistaking that silver sounds different than copper. better for some and not for others, but different. granted there are some things out there that are a little weird that I find hard to believe work, but there are things that do wonders. If you can't hear the difference between silver and copper speaker cables, then great, radio shack has spools of zip cord for $2.99. hell why not just use string and cups.
  16. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Active Member


    > why not just use string and cups. <

    Nobody is debating that a high quality playback chain sounds better than string and cups. What Thomas is saying, and rightly so, is that none of these esoteric audiophile tweaks have ever been shown to be worthwhile when properly tested. There's a good reason science uses double blind testing, and anything less is just guessing. If you've ever tweaked the EQ on a guitar track to perfection only to later discover you were really changing the kick drum EQ, then you know exactly to what I'm referring. :D

    If you really can tell the difference between copper and silver wire, I suggest you have a look at these high performance preamp knobs, made from the finest quality hardwoods:

    (Dead Link Removed)

    A true bargain at only $485 each!

  17. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Well Thomas, for your enjoyment i presume :D
    I have a close to all silver signal path in my spekers ;)

    Thomas! go ahead with your radio shack cables and alu-coils if that's fine for you.
    And if you admit that Radioshack is not the brand of your dreams... do you then admit that theres a difference?

    It just strikes me that you and ethan are not into "the art of musical reproduction" you guys are into "what bangs for the buck".
    And that's fine for me, but it's just not what I'm into.

    Best regards
  18. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Is that your ears or your system that has a flaw?
    Either case you will not hear any difference in changing cables... I was there some time ago ;)

    I discovered that every tiny adjustment that I made I could hear right away. that was the first listening/working experience i got from this sytem that has been upgradet and tested ever since.
    If the system is revealing enough you can hear difference in computer to computer and software to software... and I'm talking about protools and sonic/SADiE etc...
    It just take's a signal run through the software and a playback afterwards.

    Everything makes a difference, somethings smaller than others but still a difference.

    Best regards
  19. Barefoot Sound

    Barefoot Sound Active Member


    I honestly find it comical how people can rely so heavily on science and engineering for the very foundations on which they stand, and then completely discard science and engineering when it conflicts with their irrational beliefs.

    Scientists and engineers invented the phonograph..... the loudspeaker.... the vacuum tube... the amplifier..... the magnetic tape recorder.... the transistor..... the ADC.... the DAC..... the compact disc.... etc..... etc..... etc..... In most cases this took a great deal of experimentation, measurements, and a deep understanding of the underlying principles. But when a scientist or engineer tries to give you a simple bearing on the relative influence of system components, you refuse to listen.

    Believe want you want. You will anyhow. All I can hope to do is, hopefully, help others avoid wasting their time and money on such nonsense.

    And with all due respect, you probably shouldn't waste any time with my products. My loudspeaker designs pursue high linearity, low distortion, and optimal dispersion characteristics. Towards these ends I employ the artful use of solid scientific and engineering principles. I even use measurements to guide me. No, anyone who would rather spend money on wire, rather than on lower resonance speaker cone materials, higher linearity motors, better damped cabinets with lower internal resonances, etc., would certainly not be interested in my speakers. I use tinned copper wire inside my speakers for gods sake!

  20. Ammitsboel

    Ammitsboel Member

    Thomas you didn't answer my question?!
    Do you hear a difference in different cables?
    With all that great moters and great cabinets Isn't that sad to ruin that with less than great cabling and voicecoils?
    Or do the so called great components mess up the sound because they don't play together so in the end you can't hear the difference?
    And Thomas let's not take motor magnets and other parts into the discussion unless you want this thread to fill 10 pages or so...
    I can just say that it ofcouse also has a great impact in sound... and yes! i prefer a big alnico magnet for moter.
    As i stated earlyer: every thing makes a difference.

    To make an audio system is like cooking, every thing has to fit together.

    Yes scientists are a good thing!
    They can invent great/less great things but they sure can also ruin them again.

    My experience says that maybe a scientist invented them but it sure takes a person with ears and experince on listening to improve make use of the invention.
    And with that said I would never buy a speaker from you simply because you don't strike me as a person that ever listen to his products, and i mean really LISTEN to them.

    In audio 2+2 isn't always 4.
    You can messure many different things and some of them are very hard to hear.
    But you can't messure the most importent factors that makes the biggest differences to our ears so as musical quality and how open and free the sound is.

    That's what Michael is talking about with his AD/DA.


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