Engineering Synergy [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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01-22-2007, 05:32 PM
I am currently building a 2 channel audio system out of used equipment, and so far have: Paradigm 11seMk3 speakers, Adcom GFA-5500 power amp, and Adcom GFP-345 preamp. I am in the hunt for a single CD player that will best compliment this existing equipment, and am looking at the Adcom GCD-750 or equivalent. My question to the many audio experts here is, how much engineering synergy is put into a particular brands line of equipment. Do they work better with each other, or developed independently to a particular specification, so that it really doesnt matter how you mix and match.

01-23-2007, 12:49 AM
I think that brands have their own sound. NAD certainly has a warm sound with their amps and CDP's. I think that you can change the sound of an amp by the type of CDP you have and visa versa just like cables cna affect the sound.

01-23-2007, 10:30 AM
I have had several CD players over the years and am currently playing around with an Adcom CD changer. I like it a lot for certain applications. It is one of the brighter sounding players I've ever had so it is great for auditioning but not so good for long term listening (at least to my ears). That said, I can tame the sound somewhat by selecting a warm amp & speakers.

I think what you'll find is that most people here buy what sounds good and that the brand name is secondary. It is rare that a single manufacturer builds the best amp and also the best cd player in a particular class of electronics - and even if they do, it may not necessary be something that sounds good to everyone's ears. Aside from being able to use a single remote and that the components match nicely, I think most of us prefer the freedom to mix & match makes to suit our own tastes.

To answer your other question, I don't know of many manufacturers that make their components sound best with each other because they realize that most of their more critical customers are also mix & match listeners. They would be excluding their products from too large of a market if they did that. I'm sure there are exceptions here and there (Quad comes to mind with their amp-speaker matching), but generally I think you'll find that that is not the case.

Anyhow, that's just been what I've observed over the years.

01-26-2007, 09:46 AM
In my opinion, system synergy is very important to overall sound. Unfortunately, whatever the reasons, they are so poorly understood that they aren't designed in, most of us discover by experiment or accident what pieces work best together.

I agree with Nightflier that it is most rare for a single house to make the best of each kind of device, exceptions are the stratospherically priced stuff from the likes of Krell, Mark Levinson, Boulder, Burmester etc.

01-28-2007, 08:59 PM
I've had some more time to put the Adcom CD changer through its paces (it's a GCD-600, a bit older of a unit that I bought for $10 because it was broken and then I repaired it). Well I have to say this is one incredible sounding player, considering. I dare say now that I've listened to it for a while and paired it with some warm sounding equipment, including my MSB dac, I have to say it is very enjoyable.

As a test, I also tried it with an Adcom amp & preamp combination since I had these sitting in boxes in the garage. But that was not as pleasant - it was rather bright and overly lively for my tastes. That said, my friend who helped me hook this up actually really like the sound, but that's his thing - he works for Sony and everything he owns is hi-end Sony (I just call it hi-cost Sony - and we have a lot of debates about that). Anyhow, it may be to your liking to have everything from one manufacturer, but for me I prefer to mix & match.

01-28-2007, 10:32 PM
A friend of mine has a very high priced Sony pre-amp. It doesn't sound at all like their mass market stuff, but to my ears it's over hyped on the top end. This seems to be a cultural prefference, it seems to me that much high end Japanese equipment strives for detail at the cost of warmth.

I like detail just fine, personnaly I'm not willing to reliquish midrage or upper bass lushness for it. To me that's the holy grail, getting clean, transparent and accurate treble without giving up warmth.