There’s a lot being said about high end audio but how does one separate fact from fiction? Having spent the better part of two days browsing through websites which are supposedly either selling high end audio or are advocates of high end audio (critique) I’m rather more confused now than ever. To put it straight, if your CD or DVD sounds just like the original live recording then I’d say you have a masterpiece of an audio system. Unfortunately it’s not going to unless you have the master tape and the same audio equipment for reproduction as was used on stage. Of course, the same acoustics as well. I listened to a NAD system recently – the speakers were Mission. I don’t have the model details. It sounded awful – wrong position, wrong acoustics, wrong music. I know someone whom said the best system he had ever heard had ‘rags falling out of the loudspeakers’. I have no doubt these rags were being pulled out of a port and were acting as a damper of sorts. Not all speaker systems reproduce different genres of music the same. What sounds too bright to you sounds just right to the guy next door.
The Cure performing in Singapore. [momento mori from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia]
There are plenty of myths out there and the scope of this article is not to disprove them but rather to make you think before you splash out. Always pay the best you can afford – an expensive sound is not a myth. Just go to any live concert where a supergroup is playing and you can be rest assured that the sound system costs upwards of a few million U$. This is expensive sound. The Mission/NAD mix was expensive for a home user but not in our audiophile range – 2 000U$. The sexiest sound I have every heard was through a Wharfdale speaker system – yes, it was a disco unit. Guaranteed not for home use but Donna Summers sounded good.
Speaker cables are a necessity but definitely not what you spend thousands of dollars on...