The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Dynaco VTA tube amp kits, all Tubes4hifi.com products and all Dynakitparts.com products


    After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Share

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by Laminarman on Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:45 pm

    Question states it all. If you were given the choice after your amp and speakers, what would have the most impact? CD vs vinyl or tube vs transistor amp? I am not sure I know so it's not a rhetorical question.

    ramon68

    Posts : 87
    Join date : 2009-04-12
    Age : 76
    Location : naples fl

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by ramon68 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:18 am

    Turntable/tonearm interface is where it all starts. Superb turntable bearing hard coupled to the arm system so as to minimize losses in groove tracing.
    If you don't get the information out of the groove properly, it doesn't matter how much you spend down stream.

    PeterCapo

    Posts : 386
    Join date : 2008-12-05

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by PeterCapo on Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:25 am

    I vote that phono setups and speakers have the most noticeable differences.  After that, CD players are not as different from one another as vinyl sources are.  Beyond that, it kind of depends.  Preamps can be quite different-sounding, but it depends on how much of a purist design it is - the more purist, the less difference.  Power amps less-so, but it depends on whether we are talking about differences between solid state and tube or just within one kind.

    Plus, when you consider the differences resulting from different circuit topologies and parts quality and other variables, I don't think there is a hard and fast rule.  Room acoustics and overall system synergy may rule the day.

    My 02 cents.

    Zimmer64

    Posts : 113
    Join date : 2013-01-29
    Age : 52
    Location : Switzerland

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by Zimmer64 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:48 am

    With regard to your question I think the source makes a bigger difference tun a preamp. What you do not put in in the first place, you won't get out of the speakers at the end. But then it also depends on other factors as mentioned before. My SP 14 preamp made a big difference, the CD player a smaller difference. I also like to agree with PeterCapo on the room acoustics. Here is a little guide on placement of speakers and acoustics: http://www.audiophysic.de/aufstellung/index_e.html . Here a bit more from Linkwitz: http://www.linkwitzlab.com/rooms.htm

    Have fun

    Michael

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by Laminarman on Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:25 am

    Thank you guys. I'm trying to plot out my next moves. This is for a secondary "stereo" only system in another room. I am breaking in the ST70 now and enjoying it. The Tannoys I have now are staying put in the theater setup. So I will need speakers, pre-amp and source. Not sure what to turn to next. Considering the Parasound Halo 5 or one of Roy's preamps. Looking at Tyler Acoustics for speakers, BW, Klipsch perhaps. I'm just not sure the order to go in as I move forward. Seems to me it makes no sense to do anything until the amp is suitably broken in, but a google search shows wide variations on how long that takes. From an hour to 200 hours, with most of the results I found saying fewer rather than more.

    corndog71

    Posts : 454
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by corndog71 on Sat Jan 04, 2014 12:30 pm

    I like to think that every componant you choose will have a sonic signature. Take care in your room to minimize early reflections with sound absorbing panels. I like ATS Acoustics as they are well made and not too expensive. If you want a clear and focused sound then this is vital.

    While digital sources are becoming cheaper and better sounding with time, analog sources need a little more thought and care for best results.

    There is a lot of debate as to what componants and techniques are necessary. Whatever you use for attenuating the signal will have a dramatic effect be it passive or active line stages. Tube preamps in my opinion are superior although I have heard some excellent solid state preamps but they come with a higher cost.

    After all of that it's more details details details. There are lots of little things you can do to minimize noise interference such as keeping signal cables away from power cables. A good solid stand for your electonics to minimize external vibrations and their effects. Proper speaker placement is very important and takes some effort and patience.

    Your choice of power, interconnect, and speaker cables can have a small but significant effect although there is much debate about this. Tread carefully.

    In the end every piece of the puzzle when combined will produce a sound that hopefully satisfies your brain and allows you to then forget about the equipment and focus on the music you love.

    Laminarman

    Posts : 110
    Join date : 2009-12-30

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by Laminarman on Sat Jan 04, 2014 1:50 pm

    corndog71 wrote:I like to think that every componant you choose will have a sonic signature.  Take care in your room to minimize early reflections with sound absorbing panels.  I like ATS Acoustics as they are well made and not too expensive.  If you want a clear and focused sound then this is vital.

    While digital sources are becoming cheaper and better sounding with time, analog sources need a little more thought and care for best results.

    There is a lot of debate as to what componants and techniques are necessary.  Whatever you use for attenuating the signal will have a dramatic effect be it passive or active line stages.  Tube preamps in my opinion are superior although I have heard some excellent solid state preamps but they come with a higher cost.

    After all of that it's more details details details.  There are lots of little things you can do to minimize noise interference such as keeping signal cables away from power cables.  A good solid stand for your electonics to minimize external vibrations and their effects.  Proper speaker placement is very important and takes some effort and patience.

    Your choice of power, interconnect, and speaker cables can have a small but significant effect although there is much debate about this.  Tread carefully.

    In the end every piece of the puzzle when combined will produce a sound that hopefully satisfies your brain and allows you to then forget about the equipment and focus on the music you love.

    Thanks Corndog. I think my room will be the biggest challenge. I can do panels but have ONE major obstacle. My wife. I hear you loud and clear about interconnects. I switched and re-switched my Cardas interconnects with Audio Classics $20 cables and I'll be darned if I can hear any difference. It's not scientific, but if I can't hear it, I can't hear it. As a matter of fact, the guys at Audio Classics routinely recommend $50 to $100 interconnects for even $50,000 systems saying the differences are not noticeable. I know this is deep water with no bottom. I will choose to put my money into speakers. Thanks again.

    dougmon

    Posts : 65
    Join date : 2013-11-04
    Age : 60

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by dougmon on Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:23 pm

    Laminarman wrote:
    corndog71 wrote:

    Your choice of power, interconnect, and speaker cables can have a small but significant effect although there is much debate about this.  Tread carefully.

    In the end every piece of the puzzle when combined will produce a sound that hopefully satisfies your brain and allows you to then forget about the equipment and focus on the music you love.

    Thanks Corndog.  I think my room will be the biggest challenge.  I can do panels but have ONE major obstacle.  My wife.  I hear you loud and clear about interconnects.  I switched and re-switched my Cardas interconnects with Audio Classics $20 cables and I'll be darned if I can hear any difference.  It's not scientific, but if I can't hear it, I can't hear it.  As a matter of fact, the guys at Audio Classics routinely recommend $50 to $100 interconnects for even $50,000 systems saying the differences are not noticeable.  I know this is deep water with no bottom.  I will choose to put my money into speakers.  Thanks again.  

    I'm one of those who don't think interconnects are that important. When I first started to get into expensive stereo, I bought a bunch of Kimber PBJ interconnects Kimber 4TC speaker cable -- sort of expensive (~90$ per interconnect pair), but I wanted something decent. Since then, I've gone through a bunch of more 'audiophile' interconnects and speaker cable, but eventually, all the Kimber went back in my system.

    I would agree with some other comments that your phono setup is pretty important. I don't have a great turntable (it's a Rega with an external power supply), but it is set up well, and I have a decent phono amp.

    And..this may sound facile, but: I haven't always had the best stereo, but I've always had a bunch of music that I really enjoyed listening to. For me, that's the most important thing.

    daveshel

    Posts : 148
    Join date : 2011-11-06
    Location : Tucson AZ USA

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by daveshel on Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:22 pm

    An audio system is a chain that is as strong as its weakest link. There is no hard and fast answer that would apply to everybody as to what component is the most critical - the key lies in identifying the weak link. That's why we hobbyists are always churning our gear into different combinations.

    corndog71

    Posts : 454
    Join date : 2013-03-19
    Location : It can get windy here

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by corndog71 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 4:46 am

    dougmon wrote:
    I'm one of those who don't think interconnects are that important. When I first started to get into expensive stereo, I bought a bunch of Kimber PBJ interconnects Kimber 4TC speaker cable -- sort of expensive (~90$ per interconnect pair), but I wanted something decent. Since then, I've gone through a bunch of more 'audiophile' interconnects and speaker cable, but eventually, all the Kimber went back in my system.

    I would agree with some other comments that your phono setup is pretty important. I don't have a great turntable (it's a Rega with an external power supply), but it is set up well, and I have a decent phono amp.

    And..this may sound facile, but: I haven't always had the best stereo, but I've always had a bunch of music that I really enjoyed listening to. For me, that's the most important thing.

    Yep. I'm a big fan of Kimber 4TC and 4VS speaker cables. I use PBJ in a pinch but prefer my own braided interconnects using cotton insulated wire by Homegrownaudio.

    Tom

    Posts : 166
    Join date : 2011-04-04

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by Tom on Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:10 am

    in my experience it's
    speakers>preamp>poweramp>source
    with the presumption that most decent cd players are in fact
    pretty decent
    all bets off when vinyl becomes involved
    as well as high dollar interconnects and of course
    the Wattgate381


    current: totem forest>SP-8>chipamp>technics1200
    no fancy interconnects
    and I'm of course saving up for my wattgate...
    Wink

    Sponsored content

    Re: After the amp and speakers, what has the greatest effect on sound: pre-amp or source

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 11:00 pm


      Current date/time is Fri Dec 09, 2016 11:00 pm