• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

Mistakes to avoid - 2 channel audio

efernand1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
5,007
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
We should have a sticky, city wise, FMs who are ready to let the other members come for audition to their homes. May be a google sheet with all the system details, comfortable times, etc, etc.. so members can update the google sheet when something changes.
I had suggested this long time back to HFV as I see some members have updated India or other some country name etc which does not give a pin point location for anyone to reach out to for prompt assistance. @HiFiVision trust now something can be done in Profile or search area for anyone to look up members basis pin code or location name...
 
SPONSORED ADS

SPONSORED ADS

arj

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 25, 2008
Messages
3,301
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
I had suggested this long time back to HFV as I see some members have updated India or other some country name etc which does not give a pin point location for anyone to reach out to for prompt assistance. @HiFiVision trust now something can be done in Profile or search area for anyone to look up members basis pin code or location name...
We should have a sticky, city wise, FMs who are ready to let the other members come for audition to their homes. May be a google sheet with all the system details, comfortable times, etc, etc.. so members can update the google sheet when something changes.

Not sure if I agree with either of you ! Members have this forum to post if they would like an audition and those who are interested to provide and audition to invite. I dont this it should be an expectation , its a case by case privilege extended as in the end folks are being invited into homes.

While I have never said no to anyone , i did have some jokers turn up once which I prefer not happening again and would not want my name in any excel sheet of this nature.
 

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,798
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
We should have a sticky, city wise, FMs who are ready to let the other members come for audition to their homes. May be a google sheet with all the system details, comfortable times, etc, etc.. so members can update the google sheet when something changes.
While I am OK hosting local or out of town FMs, personally not comfortable sharing a whole lot of detail.
Equipment list is there in many signatures.
A home audition is a two way street:
- the person wanting an audition should show genuine intent
- the person hosting must have time and be inclined
Chemistry! I guess?

In fact I do share my number to talk with FMs who are genuinely confused.
Many a time I invite them home for a hear out too.
I have carried my gear to FMs homes when it is easier this way.
Some take up the offer, some go on posting, some go silent ...
So I think this kind of camaraderie will always be case to case.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

efernand1

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2012
Messages
5,007
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
Not sure if I agree with either of you ! Members have this forum to post if they would like an audition and those who are interested to provide and audition to invite. I dont this it should be an expectation , its a case by case privilege extended as in the end folks are being invited into homes.

While I have never said no to anyone , i did have some jokers turn up once which I prefer not happening again and would not want my name in any excel sheet of this nature.
No one will enter anyone's home directly. Secondly numbers will be shared if you feel the person is trustworthy and a nice person. No one has said actual addresses will be updated. All we are requesting is the actual City or location name. (pin code also can help if allowed). Audition is by invite only. A member in distress or seeking assistance will PM you and it is your discretion to provide further help if you can and have the time and your choice to invite him to your place.

There are many FMs on this forum who have my number, only 3-5 of them know my actual home complete address.

Trust that clarifies the overall intent and request to make this forum more helpful!
 

tuff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
1,888
Points
113
Location
Thane
I think disclosing the city, town ,village under the signature is helpful if one needs to contact someone for a listening. Pleasantries will be exchanged before hand of-course. I have had a few FM's at home only once I get to read their contribution to the forum which makes it easy as to what their intent would be. Surely i would be uncomfortable hosting someone who is an absolute newbie with no history on the forum.:rolleyes:
 

blackscorpio

Active Member
Joined
May 16, 2012
Messages
433
Points
43
Location
Hyderabad
The intent of the spreadsheet or anything of that sort is to show ones willingness to host, it doesn't approve anything automatically.

Some of the IB(internet brands) in USA does this kind of curated list of potential places one can demo their equipment. For example


Let's say the location is disclosed in the signature, irrespective of your willingness you will get request for auditions, which I don't think makes any sense to some one who doesn't want to host.

Sorry for OT.
 

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,798
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
Speaker-Amp pairing
Toot-toot, the main train is coming to the station ...
I promised this, so here goes. It is a long and possibly boring post.

Speakers for the ears/room/soul

- be open to both stand mounts and towers
- listen and be absolutely convinced about their sound signature
- if your listening preference is easy going, choose speakers with neutral/warm sound
- if you are a foot tapper, headbanger, a neutral/lively/bright sound may be the match
- if available study the frequency/impedance/phase response curves
- ask questions if you don't understand what they mean for real world
- if the room is small-ish and/or budget is tight, choose stand mounts
- depending on budget, decide 2-way or 3-way (these have 2 or 3 active drivers)
- if considering towers, anything with passive radiators should be last choice
- passive radiators pose additional room LF issues, over and above their active counterparts
- if you have a large room with ample distance from walls (at least 3 feet) towers are easier to work with
- if possible, choose front ported models over back ported models; sealed is the best for small spaces
- back ported or multi ported models excite the room more intimately
- there is no way you can wish away room interference below say 300-400Hz
- the room may need some "treatment" or "equalization"
- if you think you can manage to sit in front of them for at least 30 mins at moderate level, the search is narrowing
- bass is nice in a demo room; nightmare in your living room
- that guitar lick or violin screech is great in a demo room; in your space they may pierce your ears
- pay attention to vocals rendition (male and female, high pitch and low timbre, main and/or chorus)
- listen to the overall presentation of music, it should be engaging; not just bass or vocals or guitars
- choose 8 ohm nominal impedance; nothing less than 6 ohm
- 4 ohm speakers are hungry beasts, choose at your own peril; amp mating narrows down considerably
- choose something that has an SPL sensitivity of 87/88 dB (or higher)
- choose speakers with smaller cone sizes for a small-ish room
- that 8" LF driver sounds great, but it digs deeper; meaning your room is dealing with more LF energy
- your seating postion will be between 6-10 feet from speaker plane
- speakers will normally be spaced 5-8 feet apart
- factor the above two points with reference to your room
- get stands for stand mounts, please

Amplifiers for your speakers/room/soul

- Class A/B solid state has the widest choice of makes and models (the following points apply mostly to these)
- so pick something that can provide at least, say 50-70W, of clean power (class A/B SS)
- more watts is not always better
- the only true spec is xx Watts/ch over 20Hz-20KHz at 8/4 ohms; others don't give complete picture
- read up on distortion levels at nominal and max power levels
- some manufacturers state peak current per channel; very useful information
- if your listening preference is easy going, choose amps with neutral/warm sound
- if you are a foot tapper, headbanger, a neutral/lively/bright amp may be the match
- check for balanced sound; one part of the frequency spectrum should not overwhelm overall presentation
- choose a make/model that is not known to heat up easily
- Class A and tube amps are exempted from the above criteria
- good class A and A/B amps will have "wazan"; bigger (better?) transformers, heat sinks
- class D amps are usually lighter so are exempt from weight criteria
- if possible and budget allows, look at amps that can drive 4 ohm speakers
- remote/tone/balance controls are nice to have
- remote for convenience, tone/balance because our ears/speakers/rooms/content are not perfect
- in today's age having digital inputs (DAC integrated) is a good thing
- DAC sonic signature is highly subjective though; much more subjective than amp/speaker signature

In the above recipe book or smorgasbord, "room/space" has been mentioned at least a dozen times.
So lets address the elephant in the room. The room is the elephant!!
It is like that unwanted 3rd partner in a threesome, and you didn't want a threesome in the first place.
Literally "kabaab mein haddi"

Here I'll repeat this again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record.
Fix your budget for speakers + amp. Max deviation is 10% over.
Plan for other components, if you don't have them, viz., source, streaming service costs (including internet)

Pairing mistake 1

A pair of towers driven by an IA or AVR in a demo room.
Oh they sound just fantastic; I like the sound and I can actually afford them. Yippee!!
An AVR is very tricky; lots of room correction and PEQ may be in effect.
Also demo rooms are very well appointed in terms of room treatment.
Check if you can afford the IA too and possibly the source as well? ;)
Is the demo room approximately the same size as your listening space.
Can the speakers be placed/positioned in an approximately similar arrangement.
You can't do any room treatment (living rooms can't have mattress on walls, etc ..).
You may have to consider some sort of DSP element (more monies and effort).
The pickle jar is getting bigger now; rethink.

Pairing mistake 2

Hungry speakers (FS or BS) with "dingleberry" amp. Yes this happens quite often than you think.
Nothing wrong with the amp itself, but it can't drive them multi LF + MF + tweeters.
It cannot provide the desired SPL without distorting or clipping.
Clipping is dangerous; it can fry tweeters.
You try to push the volume higher, and it just gets muddled and noisy.
Amp needs an upgrade (more monies) or drop the speaker choice.
4 ohm speakers with low SPL ratings are the worst; you know why?
They can kill amps and commit suicide too.

Pairing mistake 3

Actually this is not amp-speaker pairing, this is room-speaker collusion.
Sticking FS/BS near walls and praying that LF issues, boom or muddiness will disappear.
May be if I get that amp or this DAC or whatnot. You suffocate speakers, they will voice out their frustration.
Throwing expensive electronics at a physics problem is not a solution.
Room treatment, DSP. Can you go down this route? ;)
FYI, in my setup there are no real side walls; left is open, right has a stub wall (so yes a corner)
Once when I was doing some cleaning thought I'll move the entire setup about 6" to 8" to the right.
Guess what, my wife complained that the sound is all screwed up; and it was actually.
If stand-mounts can exhibit such Jekyll-Hyde behavior, imagine multi-ported towers.
I can't do room treatment; DSP sounds very complicated and intimidating to me.

Pairing mistake 4

You bought cute speakers. They are small, sexy looking and smell good.
You have a large room and you sit 8-10 feet away. Your amp is a beast. What went wrong here?
Hmmm ... the small cones/drivers can only energize the room to an extant.
You can't beat physics, at least not in this known universe.
If you are a guy who loves bass, you will need a subwoofer (more monies and real estate)

Pairing mistake 5

You have the perfect sound + the amp too. In the demo room it sounded great.
A bit of sparkle on the HF. You bring them home. And they howl at you.
Bright speakers + bright amp. You will need something to absorb the HF energy.
Good luck trying to convince HM to have thicker drapes or drapes on the wall.
Don't even try to suggest furniture change; you'll be homeless :D

Pairing mistake 6

Warm speakers with warm amp. Sounded OK in demo room.
In your house it may just sound dull; may not engage you at all.

Pairing mistake 7

Dealer or someone says this combo is great for abc, xyz genre.
If you don't listen to these genres, walk away. If you do, think again
Are you gonna be listening to only those genres and a set of 20 artists?
The system is supposed to entertain you; not the other way around.
And how they heck does the amp or system know music genres?
It should play anything decently recorded from a half a decent source reasonably well.

Pairing mistake 8

Amp and speakers with or in room is great. Laboriously worked out placement/position, room coupling, etc.
The source and content plays truant. Yes this happens.
DACs and/or badly remastered content will land you here.
Enter the humble tone controls; does your amp have these?
If yes, use them to the hilt; don't be shy.

Well ... the above are some of the common surprises/shocks that pop in this hobby.
Even seasoned players in the game can be upended every once in a while.
I have had my share of issues with every one of the above and with every change.
But luckily I have built my system over years and done incremental changes.
Not lost any money or fun or gotten frustrated. Work with your gear and room.
Personally, I choose components that allow for tweaking the sound signature.
This is again very subjective; some folks don't like fiddling knobs or controls.
Also, when I go in for something, I set realistic expectations.

I'll pause for now. Maybe others can chime in. In humility, will not hijack the thread :p

Cheers,
Raghu
 

Music Freak

Active Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2014
Messages
201
Points
28
Location
Bangalore
I'll pause for now. Maybe others can chime in. In humility, will not hijack the thread :p

Cheers,
Raghu
Apart from the wealth of knowledge that you keep sharing, like the way you subtly "integrate" certain appealing & "chivalrous" phrases & terminologies in your posts! Recall racks, couple of them right above, especially this one -- "small, sexy speakers that smell good"☺
Keep them coming, Raghu & thanks!
 

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,798
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
raghupb, if only guys had so many Dos and Donts when choosing a partner :)
Appetite for risk in choosing partner is always higher.
For many folks, partners are chosen by other people, too.
So I guess in life, we dive in and see which end we come up at; shallow end or deep end.
And then swim on...

Audio gear can be changed easily.
Partner well ... many of us hope against hope don't we? :p
Cheers,
Raghu
 
SPONSORED ADS

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,798
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
<snip>
My final share would be to listen to all kinds of music without getting caught up in the audiophile "standards". There is only a certain number of times you can listen to "Hotel California", "Keith Don't Go" and "A Meeting By the River". Just play all the music you and your family can listen to and enjoy your setup. If Bollywood or EDM is your thing, just go for it. A lot of the best music is not always the best recorded. A very subjective area here but don't restrict yourself to a limited number of albums on your setup.
@Nikhil
I missed this one the first read.
As far as I know the one & only Keith on HFV @keith_correa isn't going anywhere yet.
Hopefully he's in his own "Hotel California" arranging (with someone dear to him) "A Meeting By The River" :p
Cheers,
Raghu
 
  • Like
Reactions: arj

arao

New Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
7
Points
3
Location
Bangalore
raghupb, if only guys had so many Dos and Donts when choosing a partner :)
@raghupb Thanks so much for your informative posts. I guess at some stage you'll be covering the 'mistakes' I am committing right now - had a 20-year old tube amp setup, bought a great pair of speakers recently (Rethm Maarga), trying out some cable from some FMs, will get a DAC delivered in a couple of days.. and I'm already finding that some of my CDs (Indian classical music) are now terrible to listen to. I guess a revealing system should reveal only that much and no more ...

@prem Re, the do-s and don't-s for choosing a partner, have you read the book The Rosie Project :D
 

prem

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
4,080
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
No Arao, haven’t read Rosie Project. Probably need to now :)
 

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,798
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
Content, Media and Sources

Well ... I am back to wrap up some unfinished business. Individual words in the title have spawned a great many discussions on this forum.
Will not go into details but will summarize (if it is ever possible). Before we get into source, let's list out all the common media formats:
- Vinyl disc (SP, EP, LP, 78s)
- Tape (little and big ones)
- CDs
- Digital Music via HDD/Network-Player
- Digital Music via Streaming services
The first four have some semblance of physical media. Streaming service is kinda media-less, at least in our listening spaces.

To listen to content on Vinyl the basic requirement is a turntable and it's accessories.
Aah ... the accessories by themselves are a rabbit hole (Sanyaasi Samsaaram).
Vinyl is wonderful though, and thus there is still the cult following.

For tapes (the little ones) you'll need a tape deck with as many kinds of "hiss" reduction.
In terms of evolutionary psychology, did you know that a "hiss" is dreaded by most mammals.
Guess what, we were the little guys when great lizards & reptiles ruled the planet.

CDs brought about first digital revolution. It opened up the market for wider distribution of well recorded content.
Because the format was digital, we all needed DACs; thus starting the DAC wars.

Then some guys thought, why not use the computer to store and play music.
Disk space was premium, forcing file compression and leading to the ubiquitous MP3s/AACs and lately FLACs/ALACs.
This again opened up all kinds of discussions; thus starting the file format/compression wars.

Somewhere around the turn of the 21st century a large company started "streaming services".
And it has become mainstay for so many millions, if not billions of people.
Strides in technology in the areas storage, servers, networking and telecom has put music at our fingertips.
It is wonderful to access content in a jiffy, but ... there is a but, and this is at times of questionable quality.
Why questionable? Because, streaming services are mainly targeted towards folks who listen to music on their mobiles.
And those tiny earphones will go nuts if the content is rendered as recorded; thus starting the DRC wars.

Read up about file compression (MP3, AAC, FLAC/ALAC) and DRC (Dynamic Range Compression).
It is truly fascinating; after a bit of re-education one reads forums and goes WTF ...?

Content is all about what appeals to you and your senses. There is no right or wrong.
It should be recorded well and transmitted properly to our amp-speaker pair via the appropriate source.

This morning I was listening to Eric Clapton's "Lay Down Sally" in my car. Beautiful song.
If your audio chain/rig makes it sound like "Leit Jaa Saali" then there is a problem somewhere.
Or is your dirty little brain tripping? You tell me ..... :p

I enjoyed blabbering here on this thread. Sorry if some of you found it "meh".
So long and remember this much. Enjoy your journey!!

Cheers,
Raghu
 

argentum246

Active Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2015
Messages
143
Points
28
Location
bangalore
<quote>
This morning I was listening to Eric Clapton's "Lay Down Sally" in my car. Beautiful song.
If your audio chain/rig makes it sound like "Leit Jaa Saali" then there is a problem somewhere.
Or is your dirty little brain tripping? You tell me ..... :p

</quote>

That was hilarious..
Great thread Raghu. With this hobby we all burn our fingers before learning a lesson. In India we are not that privileged to have many options of demo unlike our close neighbors eg:Singapore. May be most of indians still feel music and all its paraphernalia is the last thing a person should splurge on despite we being the biggest and oldest musically aware civilization. This sector in our country is very small and unorganized. The lack of knowledge and taxes etc further add to misery. I think the way you (and other experts) share knowledge shall help many demystify have baked knowledge many of us have and we can take informed decisions.

At the same time how do grab attention of companies like ones present in Adelphi mall to come and have a second look at india's market and setup shops here ? The what-hifi exhibitions always bring in same stuff and has become boring (my view)
 

hifitoaster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
630
Points
63
Location
India
In my experience from seeing different peoples systems is, many folks never have an idea about how to place the speakers and diplomatically adjust the furniture around to get the maximum performance from their valuable equipment. many folks have the sofa next to a wall, many do not care about the importance of stands, speakers next to a glass window, music room with lot of reflection, and lots others.

Many times, I have seen people with systems around a lakh sounding worse than a 40 k system in a good room just because of poor placement and poor room.
 
SPONSORED ADS

Top