More on source first and other priorities

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springwood64
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by springwood64 »

Hmmm. I might be able to compare Källa>boazu>'cheap no name speakers in untuned position' with Hakai>boazu>Espeks in a month or so....
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Lego »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-03 18:15 Yeah, source first was best.

Here's a hypothetical system for you since I haven't done a real world comparison.

1. Klimax LP12 > Sagatun Monos > Tundra Monos > Inexpressive speakers that don't let the music through very well
2. Selekt LP12 > Boazu > Majik 109s

I think I'd pick system 2.
I'm sure one system would do something different better/worse from other system.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

lindsayt wrote: 2023-11-03 18:41
Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-03 18:15 Yeah, source first was best.

Here's a hypothetical system for you since I haven't done a real world comparison.

1. Klimax LP12 > Sagatun Monos > Tundra Monos > Inexpressive speakers that don't let the music through very well
2. Selekt LP12 > Boazu > Majik 109s

I think I'd pick system 2.
So, the same speakers in both systems? ;)
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

springwood64 wrote: 2023-11-03 19:01 Hmmm. I might be able to compare Källa>boazu>'cheap no name speakers in untuned position' with Hakai>boazu>Espeks in a month or so....
I think where this applies for me is when the speakers are unengaging. Cheap with no name and no setup doesn't guarantee that.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Lego wrote: 2023-11-03 19:25
Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-03 18:15 Yeah, source first was best.

Here's a hypothetical system for you since I haven't done a real world comparison.

1. Klimax LP12 > Sagatun Monos > Tundra Monos > Inexpressive speakers that don't let the music through very well
2. Selekt LP12 > Boazu > Majik 109s

I think I'd pick system 2.
I'm sure one system would do something different better/worse from other system.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by ThomasOK »

It just sounds like another misunderstanding of source first. Source first was never meant to be read source only nor to indicate that you can't destroy the musical quality of a system by putting a piece of crap anywhere in the system. It was meant to show that the piece(s) at the beginning of the system are more important musically than those at the end because the music once lost can't be recovered. More important isn't the same as all important and music can certainly be lost anywhere in a system. But the improvement in musical enjoyability of a fully loaded LP12 vs even a lesser LP12 is quite audible through a $200 MM phono stage, a $400 integrated amp and a $500 pair of speakers - as long as you choose the right components that are themselves musical. This example comes directly from the test bench where I used to work and did have Linn Silvers connecting the phono stage to the integrated amp and K20 connecting the speakers. But it doesn't include the room or even precise speaker setup as the speakers are on top of the bench used for turntable setup with a half wall behind them and probably too close to that wall.

So , yes, crap speakers can ruin the sound of even the best source.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Arjen »

This discussion do let me think of teams in a soccer competition. You may have a team of the best and best payed players which can’t compete with a team of more moderate players that is play together more motivated and integrated than the richer team. So I musicality of a system depends how all the components cooperate together, of course above a minimum level, more than a source first adagium alone and not cooperating but good components further in the setup. In this forum we learn to become a good coach to our audio setup to get pretty musicality in the end. And like coaches do, we also change a component now and then to get a better result depending on what we aspire to hear.
Off the record, if the source isn’t that good, can you put somewhere between source and speaker AI component to recover in the way John Lennon’s voice made a resurrection on Now and Then?
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Lego »

ThomasOK wrote: 2023-11-03 22:43 It just sounds like another misunderstanding of source first. Source first was never meant to be read source only nor to indicate that you can't destroy the musical quality of a system by putting a piece of crap anywhere in the system. It was meant to show that the piece(s) at the beginning of the system are more important musically than those at the end because the music once lost can't be recovered. More important isn't the same as all important and music can certainly be lost anywhere in a system. But the improvement in musical enjoyability of a fully loaded LP12 vs even a lesser LP12 is quite audible through a $200 MM phono stage, a $400 integrated amp and a $500 pair of speakers - as long as you choose the right components that are themselves musical. This example comes directly from the test bench where I used to work and did have Linn Silvers connecting the phono stage to the integrated amp and K20 connecting the speakers. But it doesn't include the room or even precise speaker setup as the speakers are on top of the bench used for turntable setup with a half wall behind them and probably too close to that wall.

So , yes, crap speakers can ruin the sound of even the best source.
I think in this context we're not talking about crap anything.Were talking about a reasonable standard of kit .Some speakers might be holding back the tune more than other set but both would be enjoyable with a good front end .
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Lego »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-03 22:09
springwood64 wrote: 2023-11-03 19:01 Hmmm. I might be able to compare Källa>boazu>'cheap no name speakers in untuned position' with Hakai>boazu>Espeks in a month or so....
I think where this applies for me is when the speakers are unengaging. Cheap with no name and no setup doesn't guarantee that.
Are speakers unengaging or showing how unengaging the source is .Again it's all speculation,and probably something that can't be demonstrated .
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Lego wrote: 2023-11-04 11:54
Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-03 22:09
springwood64 wrote: 2023-11-03 19:01 Hmmm. I might be able to compare Källa>boazu>'cheap no name speakers in untuned position' with Hakai>boazu>Espeks in a month or so....
I think where this applies for me is when the speakers are unengaging. Cheap with no name and no setup doesn't guarantee that.
Are speakers unengaging or showing how unengaging the source is .Again it's all speculation,and probably something that can't be demonstrated .
I can understand a better pair of speakers revealing an annoyance from the source/amp that other (possibly cheaper) pairs have covered up - I think that's quite normal. But I don't buy a musical pair of speakers turning a musical source/amp into an unmusical one.
Last edited by Charlie1 on 2023-11-04 13:29, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by FairPlayMotty »

Each part of the system is a link in the chain.

The first link in the chain is the LP, CD or flac file (in my case), then comes the source player. It's a case of GIGO by the time the signal goes to the preamp.

You can argue until the cows come home about how much any component from source to loudspeakers can lose of the original signal. Every single link can make the system unlistenable (to my ears).
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Rutger »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-01 23:42 I'm sure by now we've all learned the value a source first approach to system building within a limited budget.

And many thanks to the various members who helped me on that journey. A journey that started quite a long time ago soon after I joined. Time has flown.

Yet what's more important to me than source first is the use of musical products end-to-end.

Despite the power of source first, I'd rather have a lower performing but fundamentally engaging system as a whole, to one built from a fabulously musical source, terrifically engaging amps, yet hampered by uncommunicative/unmusical speakers, for example.

I suppose what I'm saying is that I still believe in source first, but all the components have to engage me. It can't overcome a clanger in the mix.

Perhaps this was explained to me at various times but I clearly wasn't paying attention, or perhaps you disagree?

Thoughts?
I have a question - do you prefer a guitar thats carefully tuned or a guitar slightly out of tune ? Which one of those two guitars will give you more enjoyment ?

This is what Source first is for me - the source that gives a more accurate perceived pitch from the recorded instruments when playing music is the better one .
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-04 21:58 I have a question - do you prefer a guitar thats carefully tuned or a guitar slightly out of tune ? Which one of those two guitars will give you more enjoyment ?

This is what Source first is for me - the source that gives a more accurate perceived pitch from the recorded instruments when playing music is the better one .
I'm not sure that's a useful analogy Rutger. Obviously I want to hear music more in tune but I can't see a way to work your analogy into what I'm trying to convey.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by FairPlayMotty »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-04 23:31
Rutger wrote: 2023-11-04 21:58 I have a question - do you prefer a guitar thats carefully tuned or a guitar slightly out of tune ? Which one of those two guitars will give you more enjoyment ?

This is what Source first is for me - the source that gives a more accurate perceived pitch from the recorded instruments when playing music is the better one .
I'm not sure that's a useful analogy Rutger. Obviously I want to hear music more in tune but I can't see a way to work your analogy into what I'm trying to convey.
The analogy isn't useful as source first on this forum starts with the performance. Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake and many others played with variable non-standard guitar tunings.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Lego »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-04 12:59
Lego wrote: 2023-11-04 11:54
Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-03 22:09
I think where this applies for me is when the speakers are unengaging. Cheap with no name and no setup doesn't guarantee that.
Are speakers unengaging or showing how unengaging the source is .Again it's all speculation,and probably something that can't be demonstrated .
I can understand a better pair of speakers revealing an annoyance from the source/amp that other (possibly cheaper) pairs have covered up - I think that's quite normal. But I don't buy a musical pair of speakers turning a musical source/amp into an unmusical one.
I don't think I follow Charlie,did someone say musical speakers can make a musical front end unmusical?
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by lindsayt »

Spannko wrote: 2023-11-03 18:47 On the topic of great sounding speakers, how’s your diy speakers project coming along lindsayt? 😊
Sometimes, other things in life take a higher priority than hi-fi.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by John »

I’m hoping to experience a source-first improvement to all the systems in my home as there is a project in my 35 year old sub-division to replace all the buried 12,000 volt cables that interconnect all the pad transformers throughout the neighborhood.

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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Spannko »

lindsayt wrote: 2023-11-05 13:01
Spannko wrote: 2023-11-03 18:47 On the topic of great sounding speakers, how’s your diy speakers project coming along lindsayt? 😊
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Lego wrote: 2023-11-05 08:33
Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-04 12:59
Lego wrote: 2023-11-04 11:54 Are speakers unengaging or showing how unengaging the source is .Again it's all speculation,and probably something that can't be demonstrated .
I can understand a better pair of speakers revealing an annoyance from the source/amp that other (possibly cheaper) pairs have covered up - I think that's quite normal. But I don't buy a musical pair of speakers turning a musical source/amp into an unmusical one.
I don't think I follow Charlie,did someone say musical speakers can make a musical front end unmusical?
I am starting to lose the plot a bit here, partly cos I've done my back in so its hard to think straight.

So you asked "Are speakers unengaging or showing how unengaging the source is", My point was that if the system is engaging with 3-4 other speaker models then surely there's nothing wrong with the source. And if the source is engaging, how can a speaker make you realise the source is not engaging? Surely a source is either engaging or not, and the speaker can't make you realise it's no good for the first time. That's my handicapped thinking anyway.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Rutger »

FairPlayMotty wrote: 2023-11-04 23:44
Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-04 23:31
Rutger wrote: 2023-11-04 21:58 I have a question - do you prefer a guitar thats carefully tuned or a guitar slightly out of tune ? Which one of those two guitars will give you more enjoyment ?

This is what Source first is for me - the source that gives a more accurate perceived pitch from the recorded instruments when playing music is the better one .
I'm not sure that's a useful analogy Rutger. Obviously I want to hear music more in tune but I can't see a way to work your analogy into what I'm trying to convey.
The analogy isn't useful as source first on this forum starts with the performance. Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake and many others played with variable non-standard guitar tunings.
Im only talking of the perceived pitch of a guitar. Good musicians use tuned guitars on their recordings. If one source can give the perceived listening impression of a more tuned guitar, then the articulation in the lower end of the sound where the fundamental rythm elements are, will also be more articulated, more easy to follow.

Also, the reason spikes below a speaker sound different than soft feets below the speaker , is because of the tone pitch of each instrument with spikes is perceived as better, even If the usual measurements may show differently . The articulation of each perceived tone is better.

Because of this, a good source is MUCH better to use than any room correction programs like space or Dirak, - the better source will take away the problems with unarticulated bass . A Linn klimax DS without space will sound better and more articulated than an Akurate DS with space, regardless of the room shape.
For the same reason, a Rega planar 2 will be considered more pitch accurate than a Technics sl 1200 direct drive turnable. Better is better.

A more pitch accurate source will make music listening more fun, because its more musical, and more like the musicians intentions . Getting the pitch right will also give you more understanding of the music and more involvement.

This is my take on this subject, others might think different :)
Last edited by Rutger on 2023-11-06 09:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-06 08:53 Im only talking of the perceived pitch of a guitar. Good musicians use tuned guitars on their recordings. If one source can give the perceived listening impression of a more tuned guitar, then the articulation in the lower end of the sound where the fundamental rythm elements are, will also be more articulated, more easy to follow.

Also, the reason spikes below a speaker sound different than soft feets below the speaker , is because of the tone pitch of each instrument with spikes is perceived as better, even If the usual measurements may show differently . The articulation of each perceived tone is better.

A good source is MUCH better to use than any room correction programs like space or Dirak, - the better source will take away the problems with unarticulated bass . A Linn klimax DS without space will sound better and more articulated than an Akurate DS with space, regardless of the room shape.
For the same reason, a Rega planar 2 will be considered more pitch accurate than a Technics sl 1200 direct drive turnable. Better is better.

A more pitch accurate source will make music listening more fun, because its more musical, and more like the musicians intentions . Getting the pitch right will also give you more understanding of the music and more involvement.

This is my take on this subject, others might think different :)
I'm not questioning that source first is still working in terms of our ability to follow an instrument. I just feel that if other elements are uninvolving then they can negate that benefit and leave me uninterested, or much less interested in listening to music.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by FairPlayMotty »

Rutger wrote: 2023-11-06 08:53 Good musicians use tuned guitars on their recordings.
Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Fred Neil and many others who experimented with non-standard guitar tunings qualify as, "good musicians" in my book. Guitar tunings are changed deliberately to suit the artist's requirements which adds to the enjoyment of the source recordings, certainly for me.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by lejonklou »

Non-standard ways of tuning a guitar are all still in tune. Otherwise we don’t enjoy it.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by FairPlayMotty »

lejonklou wrote: 2023-11-06 19:34 Non-standard ways of tuning a guitar are all still in tune. Otherwise we don’t enjoy it.
I'm very happy I bought the Velvet Underground & Nico as an eighteen year old. Sure I took the record back for what I thought was an unwarped version five or six times, back in the days when bad pressings were commonplace. However the music introduced me to a multitude of aspects of recorded music that were new to me. Try streaming The Black Angel's Death Song and tell me that Cale's playing is in tune. Do I enjoy it? Hell yes! My favourite ten albums change often but that album is always in the top five. Experimental music (e.g. Dolphy, Coltrane) pushed the boundaries and I'm glad it did.

There are frequent recorded guitar parts that cannot be reproduced by a perfectly tuned guitar (If measured by extremely accurate electronic tuning device). YouTube is awash with examples. A guitarist friend (who was part of a famous UK nineties band) demonstrated this to my friends and family members decades ago for many songs (Including Drake and MItchell) but this is getting OT - except for the source being the recording.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by lejonklou »

Music only works when there is a structured order in time - and intentional deviations from that order.

Music only works when the notes are ordered with specific intervals - and intentional deviations from that order.

Cale follows the structure and breaks it on purpose in ‘Black Angel’s Death Song’. You get excitement from his deviations. Reproducing them exactly as he plays them is what we call “in tune” here.

There is no way that the reproduction can improve a musical piece of art. It can only degrade it more or less. If it does a perfect job, it doesn’t degrade it at all. It plays it in perfect tune.
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