Where to start Allow me to begin with your listening room because this is the first place. Even before thinking about filling your room with equipment. Because of the importance of allowing the space to be receptive to your needs.
Where to start?
What is your room size? Maybe long and narrow, or perhaps an irregular shape, Maybe it is very high or shallow? Is the room full of windows, or does it have many doors? Does the room have carpets on the floor or the wall (as some do)? And does the place has curtains. Are there pictures or plants covering the walls. Sometimes we have to look very carefully to decide what we want and also what we might have to do to make our Listening room ready for sound. An old school where to start?
There is an effortless way to get your system to sound good, and it has taken me many years to find this straightforward trick!
- Place your speakers just a few inches from the wall and then move your speakers so that the centre of each speaker is about 2.9 – 3.0 meters apart.
- Next, you place your listening chair about 3 meters in the front, so you have formed a nearly perfect triangle, and this is where you start.
- By doing some “fine-tuning,” you can achieve a great sound.
Over the years, I have had many systems, and so could have filled an enormous shop. I have learned that you are far better off to buy your order second hand. And, is because, in audio, there is something called “burn-in.” And, every piece of equipment needs many hours to “burn-in” to make it sounds correct.
The same with anything electronic. If you buy something that in a few years old, it will always sound much better than something new, and, In most cases, it is better to look at what. The old school where to start?
The first thing to ask is what to use for the source. A beautiful old Vinyl transport or maybe a CD transport or even an audio streamer. What is the price you want to pay for your source machine? You have to start with a figure and keep to it. Because it is elementary to get distracted by a smooth-talking salesperson, and you could end up paying far too much for something that you do not want. Let us say you have decided to use Vinyl. Because Vinyl is regarded as the best, giving a beautiful rich analogue sound. A turntable can be a fixed roller drive or driven by a belt. But you have to do some research to decide which you prefer. And I like a belt drive.
Maybe you decide that Vinyl is too much hassle. Looking after and caring for vinyl does take time and effort. Perhaps, you have said well I think CD is better for me. A CD player fits into a smaller space. The CD’s are more modest, and also you can get much more playing time on a CD than vinyl. Also, the sound produced by a well-recorded CD today is very close to vinyl. An old school where to start?
Computer Old school where to start?
The Audio streamer is the latest item appearing in the audiophile world. And, so many advances in this technology. A streamer is and requires minimal space. The sound is excellent if you use a Hi-end DAC (digital to Analogue converter).
The beautiful look of a pair of warm glowing glass tubes in the evening just sets up the feel for good listening. A good tube amplifier does have a quality of sound that is unmistakable. Also, a small tube amplifier can give you such good music. If you have a large room, you will have to look at something with about 12 – 18 watts of power.
An “old school” amplifier is just brilliant because it gives such excellent value for money. Temperature is something else to consider because, on the larger models, the tubes become too hot to handle. And, care taken to put the amplifier out of reach of the children and pets.
The full look of a well-engineered piece of audio equipment is something that also rings a bell in many audiophiles’ heart. The unit can be in a range of colours and also comes in a variety of sizes. Some are thin and compact, and others are vast with a power and passion that is a look unto its own.
We love the “Old school” style amplifier with their glowing coloured indication dials. And, a range of cumbersome selector switches and thick inviting control knobs. But, they can provide a lot of power for a vast listening room. And, many fitted with tone controls, so you can fine-tune the sound to offset room acoustic deficiencies.
Another amplifier in the world of amplification is the Hybrid amplifier, which is not used very much in the audio world. A Hybrid combines the best of the solid-state and tube technologies plus an energy-efficient “green” design.
An amplifier has the smooth and organic sound that only tubes can provide combined with the dynamics and slam of the solid-state. Well, that is a Hybrid amplifier and has advantages and disadvantages. Another choice, to buy a stereo amplifier or buy two separate mono-block amplifiers. But, then you will need a control unit or pre-amplifier to join the mono-blocks together.
And this is another expense. But it all depends on what you are looking for, and If space is not a concern, then this is an excellent solution because mono-block amplifiers represent excellent value for money. The old school where to start?
The loudspeakers are the last link in the chain. But, the right size loudspeaker can make or break the system. You are looking for a cabinet with a driver with high efficiency. Somewhere above, 90db is acceptable. But, if you can find a bit more 92/93/95 is ideal.
You can find many of the “old school” cabinets around for a very reasonable price. Every country has it’s own small secondhand shops: offering, a multitude of old amplifiers tuners, CD players, and turntables. You may think they are old fashioned and just rubbish. But that is where you are so wrong because most of these really “old school” units can sound better than modern-day counterparts.
These are an essential part of the audio system. And, it is what joins everything together. It is only in recent years that people have come to realise the cables do make a difference. And can make the sound of the audio system sound better. The cost of proper cabling must add to the value of the system. A suitable power cord is essential. And, the first thing to consider when using any piece of audio equipment. An adequate quality power cord can, and will, improve the quality of sound from your components. A stock power cord coats about 10 – 20 USD. But, if you replace it with a power cord costing 500 USD, you will hear a tremendous difference.
The Interconnect is very important, and it is the very first thing to transfer information from the Turntable, CD player, or other source machines to the amplifier. Again a stock set of Interconnects is about 20 USD. If you replace them with an interconnect that costs 100USD, will you hear a difference? Yes, you will a small but noticeable difference, but if you return them with a pair of Interconnects that cost 200USD, you will listen to a huge difference. An old school where to start?
The stock cables supplied with loudspeakers are not right. And, better to use a piece of reading light flex. But, if you replace it with a 350USD speaker cable, you will hear a difference. However, if you return that with a 700USD speaker cable, you will listen to a huge difference. There are many different cable companies today, offering a vast range. But, always ask if they have a money-back guarantee.
ConclusionOld school where to start?
Please understand, everything has to balance. And, the sound will only be as good as the weakest link. Never think a 1000USD speaker cable will make your system sound better because that is just not the case and a waste of money.
You might be interested in reading about one of my experiences with a power cord
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Perkune – Best budget Audiophile Cables