Articles for Audiophiles by Steve Deckert
AUDIO PAPER #018
PART II - Paper regarding the subjective effects of apex listening in a variety of system models using imagery.
by Steve Deckert
Continued from Paper #017
(Figure 1) - THE EFFECTS OF VINYL vs. CD
the CD adds some grain and reduces ambient glow (right half). Note: Consumer grade CD player of the 1990's.
In this slide, the turntable had been replaced with a good CD player. Only the right side of the slide has been altered so you can see the comparison. Note that in each successive slide another thing will be removed or changed until at the end the sound becomes unlistenable.
(Figure 2) - THE EFFECTS OF TRANSISTORS
the transistors are famous for adding grain and odd order distortions
In this slide, the amplifier has been replaced with a good class A/B transistor amplifier.
(Figure 3) - THE EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE FEEDBACK
the feedback in amplifiers collapses depth and air
In this slide, the the effects of feedback are introduced. Notice how even more depth is lost and the center image tends to want to be in your face.
(Figure 4) - THE EFFECTS OF LOW QUALITY GEAR
the lower quality source adds even more grain
In this slide, the good CD player has been replaced with a low quality MP3 player
When you look at this image, it's really nothing like the original we started with. Notice that we are still in the apex, with the world's best speakers. You may wonder how an ideally perfect pair of speakers could render such a thing but they can and will. Garbage in, garbage out.
You always hear only the weakest link in the playback system. So you could look at this backwards by seeing Figure 4 as a mid-fi starting point and look at the original image in the previous paper as how good it can get when you remove all the handicaps.