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Old 01-29-2006   #1
 
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Default So how does home audio work?

I'm about tired of spending money on car audio which is not going well for me, and I have a very nice headphone setup, but headphones fundamentally suck for most material. So I was thinking of whipping up some basic home system, when I realized I know absolutely nothing of home audio. I am in a vacuum of audio knowledge. Nobody I know has any sort of audio system beyond the basic walmart surround system. I know lots about car audio.

So, starting from the very bottom, what's a reciever actually? I assumed you'd run RCAs from your CD player to an amp, to the xover if applicable, to the speakers. What kind of processors do people use?

Does everything just plug into the wall, and have internal power supplies?

Can you integrate surround with a Hifi stereo setup, or do they have to be kept separate? I'm really clueless how you integrate it into a Home theatre setup. How do you switch between stereo and surround?

My source would be my computer and FLAC library, and an external DAC.

I'm well up on car audio, I just have no idea how you do audio in your house. If you could recommend some reading or just explain home audio in terms someone that a car audio nut could understand, that would be great.
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Old 01-29-2006   #2
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad
I'm about tired of spending money on car audio which is not going well for me, and I have a very nice headphone setup, but headphones fundamentally suck for most material. So I was thinking of whipping up some basic home system, when I realized I know absolutely nothing of home audio. I am in a vacuum of audio knowledge. Nobody I know has any sort of audio system beyond the basic walmart surround system. I know lots about car audio.
lets define two things
home audio = two channel critical listening
home theater= 5.1 channel w/ screen of course
simple enough

Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad
So, starting from the very bottom, what's a reciever actually? I assumed you'd run RCAs from your CD player to an amp, to the xover if applicable, to the speakers. What kind of processors do people use?
in home audio "processors" are viewed as the devil
idealy one has a very high end cd player w/ top of the line DAC's(rotel 1072 is regarded as a good budget cd player)
then you go out with a nice pair of composit wires (gan be very very expensive, look at audio quest for reasonably priced high end)

then one goes into a preamp, controling switching from different inputs (ie phono, cd, dvd, etc) and acts as the only volume/gain controle
again look at rotel for a well rtespected budget version

from there either composit or balanced cables are run to a two channel amplifier (again rotel is suggested on a budget)

no equalization is done because it is presumed that the speakers are designed well enough and one has enough knowledge on how to controle the rooms accoustics (this will take some reading as there is always something new to learn)

in short recievers are not used for critical listening
also dvd players can be used instead of a cd player when one wishes to play dvd-a or sacd's, but there is some anxiety over the extra internals so high end ones have a mode called pure dirrect wich bypasses some of the circuitry
again state of the art DAC's are needed so budget for 2000k+ if you want it to be considered 'good'
ive opted to buy a cheap dvd player (denon for $300+) since bluray is around the corner
all of my listening is done on the rotel unless it is a dvd-a or sacd


Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad
Does everything just plug into the wall, and have internal power supplies?
strongly suggested to get a power conditioner... monster makes some affordable ones

Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad
Can you integrate surround with a Hifi stereo setup, or do they have to be kept separate? I'm really clueless how you integrate it into a Home theatre setup. How do you switch between stereo and surround?
you can have a stand alone processor just for the surroundsound, hence utilizing some amps for stereo and 5.1, along w/ the preamp

granted it may just be cheaper to buy a reciever for 5.1 in this case
recievers are not regarded as having very good sq
for me i do only 2 channel so i just returned my denon 3806
Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad


My source would be my computer and FLAC library, and an external DAC.
what type of external DAC, very interested, that would alow you to save some cash on the dvdplayer... pls post some more info for my benifit
Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad
I'm well up on car audio, I just have no idea how you do audio in your house. If you could recommend some reading or just explain home audio in terms someone that a car audio nut could understand, that would be great.
read loudspeaker design cookbook by vance dickenson
they sell it on madisound and parts express, not to mention amazon
7th edition just came out...... that will keep you busy for a while and give you a good foundation
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Old 01-29-2006   #3
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Well, home stuff can be as simple or as complicated as good car audio systems. It all depends on your budget.

The cheapest and most basic "system" would be one of those chain store "boomboxes." There are a couple of companies that sell higher end mini-systems that come with a radio tuner, cd player, sometimes casette tape player, and two separate speakers to place a little away from the main unit. The size of these systems are about two shoeboxes. Most people use these for background music in the office or bedroom.

The next sized system would be a simple two channel stereo. A single unit called a "receiver" has an included radio tuner and accepts RCA plugs or digital inputs from CD's, tapes, and record players. This receiver has built in amps, power supplies, and such. You would then separately purchase a pair of speakers ranging in size from a breadbox (called bookshelf speakers because of their common placement on bookshelves) to tall floorstanding speakers.
Higher end companies sometimes separate this receiver into two different parts. The preamp and the amp. The preamp acts just like a dead head unit in the car. It has all the inputs of the receiver without the power. Then the amplifier takes the music signal and sends it to the two speakers.

The most common system nowadays is the home theater system. This usually starts with the receiver. However, this A/V receiver now accepts video signals along with all the audio inputs as well. This means that you can actually connect your TV into the receiver to accept the video signal. Plus instead of only having two channels of audio (left and right) the A/V receiver now has multiple surround audio channels along with a dedicated sub channel as well. The most common configuration is a 5.1 setup. Meaning 5 fullrange channels around the room (left, center, right, rear left, rear right) with the .1 channel being the sub. Some higher priced receivers have up to 8.1 audio channels. This multi-channel output can always be condensed into your standard two channel system for music. With the addition of the surround channels naturally you need additional speakers for the surround material.

As far as x-overs go, 99% of home speakers whether or not they have only one driver or 8+ in each cabinet all have an internal x-over inside. This means that usually you will only have one amplified speaker wire to each speaker.


Hope this helps you on your way...


edit: I hate when someone beats your post by a second...

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Old 01-29-2006   #4
 
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Headroom usb MicroDac. Thanks for your help.
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Old 01-29-2006   #5
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

http://www.htguide.com/forum/index.php4?
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Old 02-04-2006   #6
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

I'll just give my opinion about home theatre and home stereo systems...

They are never going to be as cool as a car setup because you're in a huge room. I don't care if you have 100,000$ to put into it, it's just not going to be the same experience.

If you want to really appreciate your music, build your own speakers, and buy a decent amplifier/reciever.

I have listened to 50$-15,000$ speakers and you can build yourself some very nice speakers for a fraction of the cost, just follow someone's preassigned setup, I would reccomend the Parts Express DIY Project Showcase:

http://www.partsexpress.com/projects...homeaudio.html

And you can find some great speakers at a reasonable price if you dont mind doing some work. Build yourself 5 nice speakers, a huge ass sub, get a reciever, and you're set... I am going to go pretty nice front 2 speakers, and then probably skimp some on the rest...

I don't think you need to blow alot on a home theatre setup, but if you hadn't realized home audio is where you get the golden ear people who have more money than a republican lobbyist, and the attitude to go with it!

It's all hype, mirrors and smoke... IMHO... Most of the stuff you read about people buying this or that or the next thing... it's like car audio in a way, if you're willing to do some work yourself, you can get much better equipment than all the buyers with all the money in the world.

I've installed some ridiculous home theatres, and unless you're going to build a room, automate a remote control, and buy a very expensive projector... Just get yourself some decent equipment, nice home built speakers, and you're better off than most people anyways.

It's just something about my personality that makes me cringe when I hear people drone on about there perfect equipment, how it takes on a personality of it's own... I don't believe almost anyone can tell the difference between a blind AB test between 80% of the premade crap out there these days...
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Old 02-04-2006   #7
 
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocelaris
It's just something about my personality that makes me cringe when I hear people drone on about there perfect equipment, how it takes on a personality of it's own... I don't believe almost anyone can tell the difference between a blind AB test between 80% of the premade crap out there these days...

Lol, that's how I feel about people talking about Tru or similar way-too-expensive amps.

-aaron
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Old 02-04-2006   #8
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

I've helped install 100,000$ home theatres, million dollar home automation packages, and yeah, they are wonderful, but there is a point where you just say WTF were they thinking? You can do wonders with some decent off the shelf stuff if you know what you're looking for and are willing to do a little grunt work yourself...

BTW what's your sig mean? "Audiophile grade belongs in a listening room, not a car" Just curious, as I have always liked my car system better than any home system, granted I'm still working on the home thing myself, but curious where that comes from?
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Old 02-05-2006   #9
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pervo
in home audio "processors" are viewed as the devil
idealy one has a very high end cd player w/ top of the line DAC's(rotel 1072 is regarded as a good budget cd player) then you go out with a nice pair of composit wires (gan be very very expensive, look at audio quest for reasonably priced high end)

then one goes into a preamp, controling switching from different inputs (ie phono, cd, dvd, etc) and acts as the only volume/gain controle
again look at rotel for a well rtespected budget version

from there either composit or balanced cables are run to a two channel amplifier (again rotel is suggested on a budget)

no equalization is done because it is presumed that the speakers are designed well enough and one has enough knowledge on how to controle the rooms accoustics (this will take some reading as there is always something new to learn)

in short recievers are not used for critical listening
also dvd players can be used instead of a cd player when one wishes to play dvd-a or sacd's, but there is some anxiety over the extra internals so high end ones have a mode called pure dirrect wich bypasses some of the circuitry
again state of the art DAC's are needed so budget for 2000k+ if you want it to be considered 'good'
ive opted to buy a cheap dvd player (denon for $300+) since bluray is around the corner
all of my listening is done on the rotel unless it is a dvd-a or sacd
While it's true that some people view the above as essential for home audio, in reality it's all crap.
1) Processors, and the EQ and crossover options they offer, are good things. It gives you the possibility of unlimited adjustment and refinement. Limitations are the devil, not processors.
2) You can't tell the difference between most DACs.
3) Wires don't contribute to the sound in a home environment, unless you're running 300 ft out to your pool area.
4) Equalization isn't only done to compensate for room acoustics. It's also done to compensate for the source material, which may or may not be recorded to your tastes (you're probably not the engineer who recorded it, so you're listening to someone else's preferences).

Ocealaris' post is probably the best suggestion for building a quality home setup. For amplification, the best thing you can do is to buy gobs of power and STAY AWAY FROM MANY OF THE "HIGH END" AMPLIFIERS, which tend to have significantly higher distortion levels than cheaper amps.
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Old 02-09-2006   #10
 
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
buy gobs of power
Well, one thing I learned about car audio is the same

Quote:
Processors, and the EQ and crossover options they offer, are good things. It gives you the possibility of unlimited adjustment and refinement.
I've never understood the aversion to EQs myself. It seems to me that introducing .01%THD (a small problem) so that you can adjust for room acoustics (by comparison a HUGE problem) would be good thing.

Quote:
You can't tell the difference between most DACs.
I've been visiting some forums where that statement could get you banned. I agree IME though
Quote:
Wires don't contribute to the sound in a home environment, unless you're running 300 ft out to your pool area.
Oh I know. I find the audiophile cabling phenomenon immensly entertaining. I'm a physics major. We use osclliscope probes that pass signals in the MHz range with very low distortion, our measurements depend on it. They cost a trivial amount. If you can hear a cable, there is something drastically wrong with it.

The thing with me and car audio, is I can't listen to music in the background. If I'm driving and music is playing I tend to turn it off. It's distracting, I can't be listening to the music and driving at the same time. Plus I drive like an old lady because of the road and engine noise. I listen to music like my friends watch movies....I just sat down and listened to Dark Side of the Moon, with my eyes closed. When I had a killer system, I mostly sat in my driveway and listened to it, which is kind of silly. I love the hobby and I'm good at it, but it's not practical.
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Old 02-09-2006   #11
 
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocelaris
They are never going to be as cool as a car setup because you're in a huge room. I don't care if you have 100,000$ to put into it, it's just not going to be the same experience.
You'll have less bass, but you'll also get significantly better midbass detail because of all of those standing waves in the 200-400Hz octave in vehicles. Also, you can use much better drive-units in home audio, resulting in better midrange and treble spectral/dynamic fidelity. If you do something trite like a 7" 2-way you're not going to get much improvement. However, if you build serious speakers, say a 8-15" coax or horn on a CD waveguide with a top-notch 15" woofer for midbass per side, you will realize significant improvements over what is possible in a car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocelaris
I am going to go pretty nice front 2 speakers, and then probably skimp some on the rest...
I would advise against that, sort of. The front three are pretty critical, with the center arguably most important of all. However, I don't think skimping on surrounds will hurt much if at all. I found sonic gains minimal to nonexistent when I upgraded my surround side speakers from KEF Q-Compacts to bespoke speakers using the same 8" Tannoy dual concentric in my front LCR. Just make sure your surround speakers have reasonably consistent directivity - like your mains, think coaxial cone or waveguide-loaded tweeter - and no glaring sonic peaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocelaris
I don't think you need to blow alot on a home theatre setup, but if you hadn't realized home audio is where you get the golden ear people who have more money than a republican lobbyist, and the attitude to go with it
For speakers, you pretty much do need to spend money to get great stuff. However, as you mention the electronics needn't be pricey. I'd be perfectly confident running six figures worth of speakers off a $500 Mac mini, $220 Panasonic receiver, and wires from Parts Express or KnuKonceptz' bargain bin secure in the knowledge that spending even exponentially more on electronics won't get me a more accurate feed for the speakers.
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Old 02-10-2006   #12
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

double post...
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Old 02-10-2006   #13
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Just some thoughts you spurred in me (trains are bad). Not that anyone was particularly asking for these thoughts, but I wanted to say them.

Car Audio is a mirror image of life. People are drawn to the ideas that make the most sense in relation to their life.
Some people are drawn to simple answers because they have limited interest or ability to come to grips with ambiguity.
Some are relentless zealots who are drawn to absolutes and are driven by something deep seated inside.

Keep looking for those who are searching, and stay away from those claiming to have found the answer...
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Old 02-10-2006   #14
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad
I'm a physics major.
That spells trouble.

Quote:
We use osclliscope probes that pass signals in the MHz range with very low distortion, our measurements depend on it. They cost a trivial amount. If you can hear a cable, there is something drastically wrong with it.
My *favorite* paper is the one written by Fred E. Davis published in the J.AES. He measured the reactance of speaker cables, from the very expensive to the very cheap (lamp cord). But the best part of the paper is that he included in the test group a set of jumper cables he had lying around. More papers need to include stuff out of your garage.

Quote:
The thing with me and car audio, is I can't listen to music in the background. If I'm driving and music is playing I tend to turn it off. It's distracting, I can't be listening to the music and driving at the same time. Plus I drive like an old lady because of the road and engine noise. I listen to music like my friends watch movies....I just sat down and listened to Dark Side of the Moon, with my eyes closed. When I had a killer system, I mostly sat in my driveway and listened to it, which is kind of silly. I love the hobby and I'm good at it, but it's not practical.
That's how I listen to music also, but I do it while driving. I've literally driven my half-hour daily commute before without remembering the actual trip aside from the music. No accidents in over 10 years of driving, so I guess it's not terribly dangerous.
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Old 02-10-2006   #15
 
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

I deliver pizza for a living, and music kills my productivity. I can't count the number of times I took the long way back to finish a song, or totally went the wrong direction, or drove 4 miles past the house I was supposed to go to. Can't do it.
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Old 02-10-2006   #16
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

I don't hear lyrics, I just hear music. Some people know words, I can't even remember the name of the song, none-the-less the words!

I grew up with the Suzuki method which trained you to listen to it and remember by ear, instead of the words... I'm not a musical prodigy, or even very good at it, but I love driving to music, and can't really be bothered to listen to it at home.

When I'm driving, or commuting by bus/train now, if I don't have music, it drags on endlessly.

I should really look into a good set of headphones, maybe amplified, but portable. I don't mind a gigantic headset, but i don't drive my car anymore during the week, and I miss that...
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Old 02-10-2006   #17
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ocelaris
I don't hear lyrics, I just hear music. Some people know words, I can't even remember the name of the song, none-the-less the words!

I'm not a musical prodigy, or even very good at it, but I love driving to music, and can't really be bothered to listen to it at home.

When I'm driving, or commuting by bus/train now, if I don't have music, it drags on endlessly.
Haha I'm the same way. I still don't know the lyrics to songs I've been listening to for over 10 years and that are my favorites but I can remember most of the music. I can't drive with out music, I start to get bored and tend to nod off. The music keeps my mind active.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad
I deliver pizza for a living, and music kills my productivity. I can't count the number of times I took the long way back to finish a song, or totally went the wrong direction, or drove 4 miles past the house I was supposed to go to. Can't do it.
I used to deliver pizzas and theres no way I could do that job if I didn't have a system. But yeah it does suck to have to stop in the middle of a song and start it back up a few minutes later especially if it's a good song. That's the only thing I really miss about that job, getting paid to listen to my stereo. I got out of it because it's too hard to rely on tips as income.

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Old 02-10-2006   #18
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

I knwo one thing home audio is FAR more expenisve lol

im building towers, and it killing me in materials/tools alone
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Old 02-24-2006   #19
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newtitan
I knwo one thing home audio is FAR more expenisve lol

im building towers, and it killing me in materials/tools alone
id almost go so far as to say car audio amps offer more and are better built
it is harder on a car audio amp to...wtf

preamps are another tough thing to swallow

got a "cheap" one... rotel at 499
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Old 02-24-2006   #20
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DS-21


For speakers, you pretty much do need to spend money to get great stuff. However, as you mention the electronics needn't be pricey. I'd be perfectly confident running six figures worth of speakers off a $500 Mac mini, $220 Panasonic receiver, and wires from Parts Express or KnuKonceptz' bargain bin secure in the knowledge that spending even exponentially more on electronics won't get me a more accurate feed for the speakers.
you are very very very very incorrect
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Old 02-24-2006   #21
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by trains are bad

I've never understood the aversion to EQs myself. It seems to me that introducing .01%THD (a small problem) so that you can adjust for room acoustics (by comparison a HUGE problem) would be good thing.


Oh I know. I find the audiophile cabling phenomenon immensly entertaining. I'm a physics major. We use osclliscope probes that pass signals in the MHz range with very low distortion, our measurements depend on it. They cost a trivial amount. If you can hear a cable, there is something drastically wrong with it.

T.
the problems with eq's in car audio is that they can introduce noise issues
in home audio digital ones provide unnecissary ad - da conversion if listening to SACD's
a good one is very expensive too, keeping in mind that the noise floor ismuch lower in home audio, so these things have much more importance... not to mention soundstageing is in a different leauge... alot of the negative opinions towards them are unfounded, most people who hands down side with passives tend to be pretty close minded-stuborn both sides have validity though


as for wires people laughed at galeleo too, ignorance isnt proof
there are some very simple and not necissarily expensive rules and geometries that have profound effects on higher frequencies- some that id be willing to bet most on here have little knowledge of... just because some factions of the hobby are dilusional about cables SQ doesnt mean that there isnt some truth.... dont mean to be harsh towards you- it is a very common opinion on the forums and is one of the very very wrong ones that gets perpetuated...
in car audio there are much much larger issues to combat, again home audio is on a different level

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Old 02-24-2006   #22
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pervo
as for wires people laughed at galeleo too, ignorance isnt proof
there are some very simple and not necissarily expensive rules and geometries that have profound effects on higher frequencies- some that id be willing to bet most on here have little knowledge of... just because some factions of the hobby are dilusional about cables SQ doesnt mean that there isnt some truth.... dont mean to be harsh towards you- it is a very common opinion on the forums and is one of the very very wrong ones that gets perpetuated...
in car audio there are much much larger issues to combat, again home audio is on a different level
The problem with the "wires" issue is that there lacks empirical evidence to support the notion that wires can contribute to the sound. There's nothing in the psychoacoustical realm to suggest it aside from some uncontrolled tests printed without the benefit of peer-review. In the realm of physics, it's also been addressed and emphasis has been made on the geometries you speak of - most notably, the reactance of various wire types has been measured and coupled to the nonlinearities of speaker impedance and amplifier output impedance. And while the physical data has been compelling, and in fact the authors have at times even suggested that it could give rise to perceptable differences, they've never coupled the physical data with what's known in the psychophysical literature about things like discriminability and detection thresholds of human listeners. When you take that last step, it becomes pretty evident that the effects only become noticable when measuring equipment is involved, not human listeners.

There have always been objections to the psychophysical approach -- where listeners are generally asked to distinguish a difference in an ABX test or something similar. The objections have typically been the skill of the listener or appropriateness of the testing procedure (eg. one has to be careful not to merely report the null hypothesis when the conclusion is "no difference"). Fair criticisms, IMO. But they're never backed with *better* evidence to demonstrate there is a difference in sound when different wires are used.

This is why a theoretical approach is so crucial to settling the question. While psychophysical data can sometimes be a little messy, too dependent on other variables, etc, it can usually give us an idea of what orders of magnitude these types of effects can be detectable. For instance, the .1% THD number has been thrown around ad nauseum. Unfortunately, the testing parameters often become lost in the fray. Human detection thresholds are often far greater than .1% or less than .1%, depending on the content of the signal, the way with which the distortion is introduced, and the testing procedure, etc. However, nobody has shown discriminability on the order of .001% THD. With our current level of knowledge, I think it's a safe conclusion to say that humans can't detect differences in harmonic distortion on the order of .001%.

As for wires, I may change my opinion once somebody presents me with data demonstrating that they contribute more to distortion than the output devices themselves, or to phase/frequency response more than the output zobel network. Until then, the electrical signal nonlinearities are still dominated by distortion in the source and amplfier, and electrical contributions by the speaker such as motional EMF and its very nonlinear impedance characteristics. And ultimately, using a good source and amplifier (which usually means NOT using one of the ultra-expensive ones, which are often plagued with distortion), the distortion is dominated by the speaker system itself.
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Old 02-24-2006   #23
 
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pervo
you are very very very very incorrect
Oh, really? Show me one serious, rigorous listening study that has shown one whit of sonic difference between properly functioning source units, amplifiers, or wires.
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Old 02-24-2006   #24
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

so you are saying preamps and DAC's make no difference as long as they are functional?
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Old 02-24-2006   #25
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Default Re: So how does home audio work?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkZ
The problem with the "wires" issue is that there lacks empirical evidence to support the notion that wires can contribute to the sound. There's nothing in the psychoacoustical realm to suggest it aside from some uncontrolled tests printed without the benefit of peer-review. In the realm of physics, it's also been addressed and emphasis has been made on the geometries you speak of - most notably, the reactance of various wire types has been measured and coupled to the nonlinearities of speaker impedance and amplifier output impedance. And while the physical data has been compelling, and in fact the authors have at times even suggested that it could give rise to perceptable differences, they've never coupled the physical data with what's known in the psychophysical literature about things like discriminability and detection thresholds of human listeners. When you take that last step, it becomes pretty evident that the effects only become noticable when measuring equipment is involved, not human listeners.

There have always been objections to the psychophysical approach -- where listeners are generally asked to distinguish a difference in an ABX test or something similar. The objections have typically been the skill of the listener or appropriateness of the testing procedure (eg. one has to be careful not to merely report the null hypothesis when the conclusion is "no difference"). Fair criticisms, IMO. But they're never backed with *better* evidence to demonstrate there is a difference in sound when different wires are used.

This is why a theoretical approach is so crucial to settling the question. While psychophysical data can sometimes be a little messy, too dependent on other variables, etc, it can usually give us an idea of what orders of magnitude these types of effects can be detectable. For instance, the .1% THD number has been thrown around ad nauseum. Unfortunately, the testing parameters often become lost in the fray. Human detection thresholds are often far greater than .1% or less than .1%, depending on the content of the signal, the way with which the distortion is introduced, and the testing procedure, etc. However, nobody has shown discriminability on the order of .001% THD. With our current level of knowledge, I think it's a safe conclusion to say that humans can't detect differences in harmonic distortion on the order of .001%.

As for wires, I may change my opinion once somebody presents me with data demonstrating that they contribute more to distortion than the output devices themselves, or to phase/frequency response more than the output zobel network. Until then, the electrical signal nonlinearities are still dominated by distortion in the source and amplfier, and electrical contributions by the speaker such as motional EMF and its very nonlinear impedance characteristics. And ultimately, using a good source and amplifier (which usually means NOT using one of the ultra-expensive ones, which are often plagued with distortion), the distortion is dominated by the speaker system itself.
they will never contribute more distortion, the human ear also is not a good judge of distortion or volume
the human ear is very perceptive in regards to the time domain though, this is where a slight improvement can be made and id doesnt cost 1000's
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