I've reached an epiphany

After over 40 years of dabbling and playing with HiFi I’ve reach an epiphany! For decades I’ve listened to people saying things like changing mains cable x for y made a huge improvement or going over to new speaker cable z really altered the sound etc. etc. and I’ve tended to believe them without, in all honesty, being able to hear the differences. I mean I’ve always done my best and gone for the ‘recommended’ improvements as discussed both here and in various publications but it’s generally been as an act of faith rather than personal experience. Anyway things have changed and I think I know why. I think (and this is my own opinion) until your system has reached a certain level in excellence then all these little tweaks are obscured by the other deficiencies in the sound. This has just happened to me. With a change of speakers and alterations in my listening room (supposed to be the dining room but that role is long gone) I’m now able to hear all these little alterations. I can now hear if the interconnect is Naim or ‘another’ brand. I can hear the difference between TQ Black and TQ Silver. It’s taken 40 years but I can now justify (!) spending twice the money on some new speaker cable or changing the mains leads for Powerline. When the dealer came round the other day to drop the demo speakers off we spent several hours trying different small changes and each time he, and importantly ‘I’, could hear the improvements. Heck even SWMBO could detect the changes - it’s good to get the ‘other half’ on your side :wink:

So an apology for doubting everyone for the last 40 years! I just wish I could have been at this point 20 years ago when my hearing was a lot better!

Of course being able to hear the difference between speaker cable at fifty quid a meter and speaker cable at one hundred quid a metre is a good thing does have it’s downsides - ouch my credit card :wink:


So what system do you have, that has now reached such a level of resolution that you hear these tweaks?
I admit that with my Atom, I struggle to detect subtle differences when I make minor changes, where these are much easier to detect on my NDX/282/250.

I hesitate to say in such esteemed company but, essentially, NDX with SN2 and now RAM30 speakers. I’m sure quite a lowly system to a lot of listers :wink:

No need to hesitate, I bet it sounds great!

So, the new speakers let the sound out! What were the old ones that didn’t?

I have long been a believer in getting the speakers right early in system development, to me being more significant than “source first” (provided the source is not utter rubbish).

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Yes it was primarily the speakers. I know what you mean about the source… back in the 70’s/80’s all was all about get the source right as a top priority which, tbh, I’ve never really been 100% on board with that.

My personal view is that every component takes something out of the signal; it’s getting the balance of these losses right to suit your ears/brain that’s the important thing.

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Yes you have to be sensible here… e.g. I’m not condoning fitting a GBP4K set of speakers onto the outputs of a £19.99 apple dock from china :wink:

As you say a balanced system.

Ironically, for a time while I was rebuilding my Spendor SP2s to upgrade the crossover and internal wiring, I used a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1s on the end of a 272/555DR + 300DR system. I’ve never heard them sound so good! - but I was pleased to get the upgraded Spendors back in the system.

(The Wharfedales normally sit on the end of a Denon DM-R40.)

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