Author Topic: System As a Whole  (Read 375 times)

Offline rollo

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System As a Whole
« on: October 15, 2018, 10:26:58 AM »
  Over the years we have listened to numerous components in varying systems. There are numerous contributing factors to produce good sound. So when inserts a different component or cable are we listening to that unto itself or the system as a whole ? Could it be that the new component or cable has a special synergy with existing system ? Or it is just better overall  ?
Hard to say, what's your take ?
At audio shows we show a system not individual components.

charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
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Offline steve

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Re: System As a Whole
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2018, 05:01:01 PM »
  Over the years we have listened to numerous components in varying systems. There are numerous contributing factors to produce good sound. So when inserts a different component or cable are we listening to that unto itself or the system as a whole ? Could it be that the new component or cable has a special synergy with existing system ? Or it is just better overall  ?
Hard to say, what's your take ?
At audio shows we show a system not individual components.

charles

Hi Charles,

Normally, with a set/reference system, after auditioning to reference the sound; when one installs a new component or cable, the difference is just the component or cable as the rest of the system is common mode, common to both with and without the new component or cable. They cancel out of the "equation".

Caveat: This could include mating different brand/type plugs/jacks when installing a new component or cable, so a difference could also be noted at those junctions as well as internal component and internal cable differences.

Making comparisons of parts/components requires the absolute utmost care, or one will arrive at the wrong conclusions about that component. This is especially true with capacitor comparisons; improper testing, "capacitor comparisons", has completely decimated the list of quality capacitors. There are none at reasonable prices that I know of, maybe not at any price. If someone wants to send me some 2,0 uf Claritycaps, I can test them for accuracy in absolute terms.

A component that is actually accurate in absolute terms may not be appreciated in a given system because it will not compensate for any weaknesses in the system. So one looks for a component that will compensate for the largest flaw.  (I use accurate to mean the instrument/voice will sound exactly the same at the part/component's output, just as it does at the part/component's input.)

I hope my post was clear and concise for everyone. If not, let me know.

cheers

steve



« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 05:08:33 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (retired, but manufacturing "V" ics again)

SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS Audio 11A Preamp
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Offline doug s.

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Re: System As a Whole
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2018, 02:56:58 PM »
  Over the years we have listened to numerous components in varying systems. There are numerous contributing factors to produce good sound. So when inserts a different component or cable are we listening to that unto itself or the system as a whole ? Could it be that the new component or cable has a special synergy with existing system ? Or it is just better overall  ?
Hard to say, what's your take ?
At audio shows we show a system not individual components.

charles

- So when inserts a different component or cable are we listening to that unto itself or the system as a whole ?
by default, you're listening to the entire system.  there's no getting around it.

- Could it be that the new component or cable has a special synergy with existing system ?
yes, it could be.  but it might not be, either; there's no way to know for sure, except to try that specific component in several other systems, to see what the effects are in those systems.

- Or it is just better overall  ?
could be, but again - it needs to be tried in other systems.

- Hard to say, what's your take ?
impossible to say, imo.

At audio shows we show a system not individual components.
really?  you mean you can't just listen to an amp, or speakers, or cable by itself?   :D

altho twice in my life i experienced an individual piece of equipment that i was certain was the main positive contributor to what i was hearing.  once, in a system completely foreign to me; the other time in an acquaintances' system that i was quite familiar with.  both were preamps; the first being a melos sha-gold-r in an audio shop.  can't remember the amp or the front end; the speakers were aerial acoustics; don't remember the model. something about the sound just screamed out to me: "clean, dynamic detailed musical preamp!"  it's what led me to purchase my ma333r which i still use to this day; 20 years later.  (much modified, most recently by mark porzilli himself, about a year ago.)

the second time was when i first heard the purity audio statement preamp.  i was familiar w/the system, yet it hit me the same way - "this preamp is amazing - clean, dynamic detailed musical!".  it's the first time i ever heard a preamp that i think would outperform my melos in my (or any) system.  not unlikely to happen anytime soon, even at used prices, i doubt i could ever afford one.

ymmv,

doug s.

Offline steve

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Re: System As a Whole
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 08:49:39 PM »
Quote
- So when inserts a different component or cable are we listening to that unto itself or the system as a whole ? by default, you're listening to the entire system.  there's no getting around it.

Hi Doug,

I think I understand what you are saying Doug, but in actuality we both did not fully explain things (me from my previous post. I was half asleep when I posted.)

Let's use an example. When one listens to their "reference" system and then changes out a component, say source X with source Y, the speaker does not suddenly change its characteristic "sound, neither does the amplifier, nor preamplifier. They are common to both setups, both sources, and cancel out of the equation.

The only sonic changes that occur is Y source itself vs X source, and any mating impedance change of the source to the preamplifier, assuming the source is capacitively/transformer coupled. DC coupled should cause no change, unless the source were poorly designed with very high output impedance (Z). A minute difference might also occur if the ic plug/source jack are different materials from X source jack.

I would say we were both lacking in explanation, which was probably similar.   :)

cheers

steve



« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 09:00:06 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (retired, but manufacturing "V" ics again)

SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS Audio 11A Preamp
SAS Audio 25 W Triode Amp
Test Spkrs
"V" ICs
10 parallel 18 ga. speaker wires

Offline doug s.

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Re: System As a Whole
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 07:58:37 AM »
Quote
- So when inserts a different component or cable are we listening to that unto itself or the system as a whole ? by default, you're listening to the entire system.  there's no getting around it.

Hi Doug,

I think I understand what you are saying Doug, but in actuality we both did not fully explain things (me from my previous post. I was half asleep when I posted.)

Let's use an example. When one listens to their "reference" system and then changes out a component, say source X with source Y, the speaker does not suddenly change its characteristic "sound, neither does the amplifier, nor preamplifier. They are common to both setups, both sources, and cancel out of the equation.

The only sonic changes that occur is Y source itself vs X source, and any mating impedance change of the source to the preamplifier, assuming the source is capacitively/transformer coupled. DC coupled should cause no change, unless the source were poorly designed with very high output impedance (Z). A minute difference might also occur if the ic plug/source jack are different materials from X source jack.

I would say we were both lacking in explanation, which was probably similar.   :)

cheers

steve
it's like this - let's say you like your system.  the speakers you have may be bright, w/an over-done treble, but it sounds good because your amp, let's say, has a recessed treble.  so, you try an amp that is neutral, and you now find your system to be too bright....  this is just one example of what i, (and you, as well, i think), are talking about...

doug s.

Offline rollo

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Re: System As a Whole
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 08:45:48 AM »
   So I take it, it is how the new component , cable, tweak sounds integrated in said system. The new  ?? affects the system as a whole.
 Bringing said ??? to another system is moot IMO as a synergy or non synergy may exist in different system. What we will learn is if said ??? has a synergy with that system. Yes ? No ?

charles
contact me  at rollo14@verizon.net or visit us on Facebook
Lamm - Aqua Acoustic Formula & La Scala DAC- INNUOS  - Rethm Speakers - PI Audio Uberbuss - Triode Wire Labs- Kuzma - Furutech - Audio Hungry Qualiton - Fritz Carrera speakers -Gigawatt-Arion

Offline steve

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Re: System As a Whole
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 10:01:29 AM »
   So I take it, it is how the new component , cable, tweak sounds integrated in said system. The new  ?? affects the system as a whole.

Yes, the sound will be affected by that component, thus the system will sound different. But I have always noticed that systems have multiple problems, so it seems to me that when individuals mention "synergy", they tend to improve on the biggest problem of the existing system. I think that fixing just one problem is not the optimal solution. 

I would contend that if one uses the most accurate components to begin with, there are fewer problems, less pronounced problems to deal with. Synergy would be best with most natural music.

Quote
Bringing said ??? to another system is moot IMO as a synergy or non synergy may exist in different system. What we will learn is if said ??? has a synergy with that system. Yes ? No ?

If I understand you correctly, Charles, I agree. Just because synergy exists in one system with X component does not mean synergy will exist in another system when X component is installed. Each system, using different components will have different problems as well as how deeply the pronounced problems are in that system.

With this in mind, I developed special, proprietary listening tests for the preamplifier, and even amplifier and ics, and some parts such as capacitors. When one can get these truly accurate, then the only variables left are source, speakers, speaker wires, and venue. I find it much easier to work with four variables than seven to achieve idyllic sound, although even 4 variables is a task. That is why I use the motto "Where Music Comes Alive".

Cheers

steve

« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 10:14:17 AM by steve »
Steve Sammet (retired, but manufacturing "V" ics again)

SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS Audio 11A Preamp
SAS Audio 25 W Triode Amp
Test Spkrs
"V" ICs
10 parallel 18 ga. speaker wires

Offline BobM

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Re: System As a Whole
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 10:22:29 AM »
Why would it matter, in absolute terms, whether one component is "better" than another or not? It only matters if it is better within the context of your system (unless you are a retailer selling components, and then it only matters how it sounds in the purchasers system).
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Offline steve

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Re: System As a Whole
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 06:37:46 PM »
Why would it matter, in absolute terms, whether one component is "better" than another or not? It only matters if it is better within the context of your system (unless you are a retailer selling components, and then it only matters how it sounds in the purchasers system).

Hi Bob,

Because all typical systems have multiple problems, not just one problem. That is the key.

If system Z has perfect components, problems will be zero in number and severity. System synergy will be perfect, and music most natural.

As each component in a system deteriorates in sonic quality, more and more problems develop, and with greater severity, and less synergy. The term "synergy" varies all over the place. That term actually means very little. But let's continue.

If one thinks that by purchasing two mediocre systems that one can some how arrive at perfection, perfect synergy, such is not the case in any sense. It just is not going to happen. Personally, I find just about every type of music sounds better with a better system.

Finally, for all, high prices hardly qualifies a component as superior. Usually it is nothing more than aesthetics, and many times marketing tatics that adds to the price. For instance, a choke adds weight and cost, is part of marketing, but actually deteriorates the sonics. Pay  more for less.

On the other hand basic, cheap prices will hardly allow one to purchase quality parts for maximum sonic quality.
 
When designing, either one is lucky, or one actually knows how to properly design, and listen test a component for most accurate/natural musical quality.

Here is a Whitepaper I wrote decades ago that discusses designing principles, what to look for, what not to look for, why, and with some stats. One will learn a lot that marketers don't want you to know.

http://www.sasaudiolabs.com/sasaudio.htm

cheers

steve
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 07:30:57 PM by steve »
Steve Sammet (retired, but manufacturing "V" ics again)

SAS Audio Labs Test Phono Stage
SAS Audio 11A Preamp
SAS Audio 25 W Triode Amp
Test Spkrs
"V" ICs
10 parallel 18 ga. speaker wires