More on source first and other priorities

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Charlie1
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More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

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?
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by beck »

………. not to mention cables and setup!

I value a human like communication above all else when listening. That is why I love listening to my wife playing the piano in the living room. :-)
Playing cd’s…………
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Spannko »

I agree charlie1. There’s a level below which no component can be allowed to fall, be that a turntable, an amplifier, a speaker, a cable or even individual components, such as resistors, capacitors etc, making up each major component. I think source first emerged when the LP12 demonstrated that nearly all turntables fell below a minimum standard of musicality, but as you rightly point out, a system which satisfies over the long term requires that every component achieves a minimum standard of musicality.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by springwood64 »

There are so many factors involved in getting enjoyment from a music replay set up that generalisation can sometimes be more misleading than helpful.

Apart from the equipment and the set up, there is the room, the context (home? on the move? ), the listener's habits, and their expectations.

'Source first' tells us that information lost at source can never be recovered later in the chain. But extrapolating from that to say the source is the only focus, or even the most important, risks ignoring the other factors. Information can be lost at any point in the chain, but: that may not be critical for listener enjoyment. The listener's habits and expectations are also a very big factor in 'enjoyability'.

I really enjoy music in my car, but it's not a hifi experience. My family listen to music in an entirely different way to me, and while they hear improvements in the system, they don't get more enjoyment from it.

So, what is important is very personal
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

beck wrote: 2023-11-02 07:52 ………. not to mention cables and setup!

I value a human like communication above all else when listening. That is why I love listening to my wife playing the piano in the living room. :-)
Very true
I should have stated that I was assuming everything is properly setup
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Spannko wrote: 2023-11-02 09:21 I agree charlie1. There’s a level below which no component can be allowed to fall, be that a turntable, an amplifier, a speaker, a cable or even individual components, such as resistors, capacitors etc, making up each major component. I think source first emerged when the LP12 demonstrated that nearly all turntables fell below a minimum standard of musicality, but as you rightly point out, a system which satisfies over the long term requires that every component achieves a minimum standard of musicality.
You've basically explained it more clearly than I could - tx Spannko :)
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

springwood64 wrote: 2023-11-02 10:32 There are so many factors involved in getting enjoyment from a music replay set up that generalisation can sometimes be more misleading than helpful.

Apart from the equipment and the set up, there is the room, the context (home? on the move? ), the listener's habits, and their expectations.

'Source first' tells us that information lost at source can never be recovered later in the chain. But extrapolating from that to say the source is the only focus, or even the most important, risks ignoring the other factors. Information can be lost at any point in the chain, but: that may not be critical for listener enjoyment. The listener's habits and expectations are also a very big factor in 'enjoyability'.
Agree with all this. I do still see the source as the most important component in terms of spending.
springwood64 wrote: 2023-11-02 10:32 I really enjoy music in my car, but it's not a hifi experience. My family listen to music in an entirely different way to me, and while they hear improvements in the system, they don't get more enjoyment from it.
Exactly the same here.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by springwood64 »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-02 10:50 I do still see the source as the most important component in terms of spending.
That's true for me too.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by FairPlayMotty »

springwood64 wrote: 2023-11-02 10:32 There are so many factors involved in getting enjoyment from a music replay set up that generalisation can sometimes be more misleading than helpful.

Apart from the equipment and the set up, there is the room, the context (home? on the move? ), the listener's habits, and their expectations.

'Source first' tells us that information lost at source can never be recovered later in the chain. But extrapolating from that to say the source is the only focus, or even the most important, risks ignoring the other factors. Information can be lost at any point in the chain, but: that may not be critical for listener enjoyment. The listener's habits and expectations are also a very big factor in 'enjoyability'.

I really enjoy music in my car, but it's not a hifi experience. My family listen to music in an entirely different way to me, and while they hear improvements in the system, they don't get more enjoyment from it.

So, what is important is very personal
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Sopper »

Mood and mental state first > then source etc.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by matthias »

Sopper wrote: 2023-11-02 13:53 Mood and mental state first > then source etc.
+1
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Spannko »

Sopper wrote: 2023-11-02 13:53 Mood and mental state first > then source etc.
There’s a shed load of research which seems to indicate the opposite.

Eg https://www.psychiatry.org/news-room/a ... well-being
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Lego »

I think if the source is top notch or is well setup(LP12) then you'd really need to get a terrible amp and speaker setup to not enjoy putting a record on.
Comparing amps and speakers you would come across something better or worse,but the main outcome is always enjoyable listening.If not it's definitely the source that's the issue.
This is not negotiable 😁
If someone has been guided to get such a top notch front end then where and how could it all go so badly wrong !!??

I have to disagree with you on this one Charle1 .I mean where would the point of reference be?
Some other past life where a system was engaging and enjoyable,but now it isn't?Sorry that doesn't make sense to me . However if the person is continually playing music they don't like well........
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Fair enough Leo.

Not sure a point of reference is needed. For example, if several speakers are all musically enjoyable and one comes along that leaves you flat then I don't see why the source is at fault.

This is of course assuming they are all functioning well and time has been taken to set them up properly.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Spannko »

Lego wrote: 2023-11-02 21:42 I think if the source is top notch or is well setup(LP12) then you'd really need to get a terrible amp and speaker setup to not enjoy putting a record on.
Comparing amps and speakers you would come across something better or worse,but the main outcome is always enjoyable listening.If not it's definitely the source that's the issue.
This is not negotiable 😁
If someone has been guided to get such a top notch front end then where and how could it all go so badly wrong !!??

I have to disagree with you on this one Charle1 .I mean where would the point of reference be?
Some other past life where a system was engaging and enjoyable,but now it isn't?Sorry that doesn't make sense to me . However if the person is continually playing music they don't like well........
This isn’t my experience tbh Lego. I’ve heard many decent sounding LP12’s reduced to sounding below par by substituting below par amps and speakers into the system eg LP12/Krell/Celestion SL600’s is one that stands out in my memory. The LP12 can’t turn a pigs ear into a silk purse!
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by lindsayt »

How extreme a practical demonstration does anyone want to put on?

For example
System A
The most tuneful sounding source available for a given recording format, a decent sounding amplifier, 2014 B&W CM1 speakers (untuneful budget speakers)
The second most tuneful sounding source available for that format, the same decent sounding amplifier, the most tuneful sounding speakers available.

Please go ahead. Put source first to the most extreme practical test you can come up with.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by springwood64 »

Am I right in thinking that Charlie did this a few years ago?
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Give that man a memory badge! - if such a thing exists

But that technics midi system did actually play music. In fact, the CD section was probably the weakest link. I still use it for burning in and leave it running in the office and don't mind it to be honest.

For those that don't recall, I compared a Klimax LP12/Linto (with original pressing) and technics midi-system against a DVD player and my active Linn system (KK,6100,Ninkas)

I think I did a couple of other things too, a bit less extreme, but don't recall the specifics.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by lindsayt »

So you compared a vinyl system against a CD / DVD system?
That's more extreme or differently extreme to what I had in mind.
I was thinking of comparing 2 vinyl, or 2 CD or 2 streaming systems. And of having 2 good but not quite equal sources. And 2 very different pairs of speakers, with one pair as "least good" as you can get and the other as good as you can get.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

Yeah, I definitely did some other comparisons but using the LP12 in both setups. Can't recall what I did now. Might have involved a KK1 and Kikkin plus other changes but really don't remember - it was in our old house so 13+ years ago.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Lego »

Spannko wrote: 2023-11-03 01:21
Lego wrote: 2023-11-02 21:42 I think if the source is top notch or is well setup(LP12) then you'd really need to get a terrible amp and speaker setup to not enjoy putting a record on.
Comparing amps and speakers you would come across something better or worse,but the main outcome is always enjoyable listening.If not it's definitely the source that's the issue.
This is not negotiable 😁
If someone has been guided to get such a top notch front end then where and how could it all go so badly wrong !!??

I have to disagree with you on this one Charle1 .I mean where would the point of reference be?
Some other past life where a system was engaging and enjoyable,but now it isn't?Sorry that doesn't make sense to me . However if the person is continually playing music they don't like well........
This isn’t my experience tbh Lego. I’ve heard many decent sounding LP12’s reduced to sounding below par by substituting below par amps and speakers into the system eg LP12/Krell/Celestion SL600’s is one that stands out in my memory. The LP12 can’t turn a pigs ear into a silk purse!
I'm not saying that below amps and speakers won't make things sound below par,but unless you have another point of reference it's going to sound the best the amps and speakers will sound ,and for me that would be good enough to enjoy the tunes .But then again I'm not a good example as I'm usually distracted by the music.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Lego »

Charlie1 wrote: 2023-11-03 16:31 Yeah, I definitely did some other comparisons but using the LP12 in both setups. Can't recall what I did now. Might have involved a KK1 and Kikkin plus other changes but really don't remember - it was in our old house so 13+ years ago.
Can you remember the results Charlie?
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by Charlie1 »

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.
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Re: More on source first and other priorities

Post by lindsayt »

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 Spannko »

On the topic of great sounding speakers, how’s your diy speakers project coming along lindsayt? 😊
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