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Thank you square_wave for sharing your experiences in the audiophile journey.At some point in your audiophile journey, you will come across these divergent paths. You will need to take the one that suites you. A lot depends upon your musical objectives. This of course needs some careful and honest analysis of your needs.
1. You can assemble a system that is extremely revealing and true to the recording. This will satisfy the scientist inside an audiophile. The flipside is that bad recordings will sound more unpleasant. The scientist in the audiophile will revel at the systems capability to show you the anomaly but you will not enjoy the song. This will be unfortunate if it is music that you actually like. But there is a massive industry out there that pretty much thrives on travails of this demographic.
2. You can strike a balance. This is an Art more than a Measurable science. It is choice of components and setup that takes into account your choice in music and how you like to enjoy your music.
The big fun 17s are quite revealing. But this means that you can choose the source and amplifier that works with your type of music and it will give you that sound that will like. A lesser speaker will add that much of its own character and will become a bottleneck.
The title of your thread itself is a problem. How do you define sound of an high end audio system ? High end audio system is something that is complete. Complete means, that all components are well thought out for the needs of the listener and setup and signed off. When this is done, the sound that comes from that system can be defined as sound of a high end system within the constraints of the needs of that listener. For example, if you go to a high end audio show, all rooms give you a slightly different perspective of the music.
What amp and source are you using with these speakers ?
What is your choice of music ?
Awesome Post :clapping: and cannot agree more with point 4On a larger point, we are in this hobby and we are nuts, and that self awareness is important.
4. A realisation that many of us are trapped in the hobby, and we do it for fun, passion and as long as we don't damage ourselves financially (or even mentally), roll on! Change a tube!
And let me add one more thing - all reviews professional or otherwise should be treated as subjective opinion of the reviewer. The listener has to listen to the equipment in his own room, with his own equipment. Only then will the actual sound emerge. Don't get carried away by - "so and so said this, so and so is an expert so he must be right" etc. They are only guidelines not absolute truth.and finally, auditions ins showrooms are mostly useless...the sound at home is very different. Not to say it is not important but in a wells etup showroom it shows the potential of the component and no more
:clapping: A single look is enough to convey how strong the Veto is.3. Beg the missus for help - like most women, she is a great bullshit meter for audio and even if not into the hobby, knows whether what she is hearing gives her a headache or not even as she walks past! That veto vote is an important one!
I had read it. much before I started spending money.The listener has to listen to the equipment in his own room, with his own equipment. Only then will the actual sound emerge.
There is a room in between that is willing and able to convert your gold into garbage.Thumb rule with audiophile systems - Garbage in, Garbage out.
Very right. This is the reason, which made me feel sad, when I upgraded my Audio setup from entry level Intex multimedia speakers to Zensors. As I was using 128kbps MP3 files, I was liking them with Intex, but suddenly felt tasteless in my new setup. But later I realised the fact.Quite the opposite.
A high end system would show up all the deficiencies in the recording which a lower one would not.
This is what I call 'chaat' bhi meri aur 'pat' bhi meri.Which is the best audio system? For me its the one which reproduces the recorded sound closest to original recorded sound. So in a high end system, bad recordings will definitely sound bad, where as in an ordinary system, the sound is more colored and hence the recording discrepancies are more concealed making it more listenable compared to the higher end systems.