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leftAdvises - Advices

This article relates my experience in High Fidelity. I did not borned with an Hi-Fi expertise, but when I reached 14 years old, I began to be interested by Hi-Fi. I read and read again hundreds of audio magazines, in French or in English. The following story relates only what I believe and is purely personal. All the following advises are linked to my tests and listening sessions.

1-.The accoustic of the listening room.

This is absolutely critical: if the accoustic is not good, the sound will remain bad. I personnaly know a lot of persons (rich ones...) who continously changed their devices wihout getting an enjoyable sound, and who finally decided to stop the game. Whatever the high end audio devices are, if the accoustic is not good enough, the sound will never be pleasant.

The only efficient product to remove undesirable peaks of frequencies is no longer manufactured since 20 years. It was the Phantom Acoustics Shadows (designed by Nelson PASS, the Threshold designer, actually managing the PASS LABORATORIES). It was able to remove in real time the undesirable frequencies. Since then, NOTHING can compete.

If you want to have a good acoustic, you have to:

  • Locate your equipment if front of a wall made of stones (not everybody is lucky enough regarding this aspect).
  • Have a high enough ceiling (recommanded min 3m50)
  • Have a room of 35m2 min
  • Install some absorbing material at the appropriate places (we recommand you to get a profesionnal advice)


2-.The choice of your audio components

You have to follow the primary rule: source → preamp → amp → speakers.

This rule means that it is useless to chose a state of the art speaker if every component prior the speaker is not at the highest level of quality.

CD player (or CD drive + converter): You must invest as much money as possible in your CD player. ALL the musical information comes from the source. Changing your CD player immediately generates a huge change in sound.

Preamplifier: a lot of persons believe that the best preamplifier is a passive preamp because there is very few parts in it. This is false because the preamp is absolutely necessary: it is a must have device in 98% of the cases, because it allows the amplifier to receive the maximum of informations in the most appropriate manner (impedance...) to reach its maximum musicality.

Amplifier: here we are in the center (heart) of the system. After the source, it is the second component allowing a real and huge change in the final sound or musicality. There are a lot of brands, probably too many..., and the client is lost most of the time. The only thing to do is: listen and listen ! but you have to lesson at home, meaning that you should ask for a loan.

The very good amplifiers are often expensive ones, and also heavy ones (because they must have a huge power supply) are generate a lot of heat. There are a lot of never ending discussions about the classes (from A to T), but it is clear and definitely clear for us, that the best one is the Class A. People saying that digital amplifiers are good are "big mouth"... This new class has 2 advantages: it costs less to manufacture, and... it is as cold as its advantages are for the manufacturers and the dealers, not for the audiophile !

The speakers: they are the last component of the chain.

Different techniques exist:

  • High efficiency
  • Pannel: ribbons speakers, electrostatics.
  • Large bandwith (electrodynamic).


Most of the people go to electrondynamic (multiple ways), meaning none of those who are really musical... You have understood, that I (Florent) prefer the panels...


Article written by Florent ("provence13").


Creation date : 01/02/2007 @ 22:34
Last update : 04/02/2012 @ 18:31
Category : Advises
Page read 1091 times

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Reactions to this article

Reaction #1 

by egay 22/11/2008 @ 02:02

hi florent,
i read some of your reviews (e.g. accessories) and am thankful i did - nice, brief, but very informativee
this "Advices" section is another interesting part for me as you put in what many audiophiles (..fools?) are blindly negating - some i know go for looks only without carefully analyzing the synergy of their chosen components, and then complain about how "crappy" the compos are.
i had my share of "crappy" components, and i mean really crappy both in looks and in sound - but that's the fun of the hunt.
i agree with your keen observations.  even if audio is a truly personal and highly-subjective hobby, your points are practical and sensible.
thanks for your timee
regards from Manila!
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