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  1. #26
    Sure, sure... Auricauricle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Ambrose: It appears that flexibility and expandability seem to be a couple of issues that many hi-fi equipment manufacturers don't seem to think much about, I'm afraid. In the years that I have been buying and admiring stereophonic equipment, the number of manufacturers and products that are flexible and able to be upgraded is pretty low.

    But not always.

    Consider the average consumer of audio equipment. This person generally knows the sort of equipment (he) will be using, and buys gear that accomodates those short-term needs. Receivers are immensely popular, for they are usually fairly elaborate, and for someone who has a TV, a DVD and a couple of other things, an average receiver will leave him quite content. When the itch comes, however, this person will find himself needing another receiver, with more jacks.

    Contrast this scenario to the one of the audio enthusiast. The market for these individuals is quite different. Manufacturers of such equipment know that the people buying their equipment construct fairly elaborate systems and build their gear to be as accomodating as possible. Save the purists, whose Spartan approach is a different matter altogether, the audio enthusiasts want more flexibility to accomodate just about every possible whim. So, such manufacturers build their equipment knowing that the upgrade bug is a tenacious bugger and will eventually be reckoned with.

    Simply put (ahem!), when the average consumer wants to upgrade, he generally does so by buying another receiver that has more inputs. When the enthusiast upgrades, he buys a new CD player. In other words, high end gear is generally quite flexible, for the manufacturers of such equipment know that eventually either (a) more gear will be bought or (b) certain features and accomodations have already been anticipated.

    Know what I mean?

    One of the things that gives me a kick in buying high-end equipment, etc., is that sometimes I do run into the wall. Sometimes, the equipment does not have the input for a turntable, or this piece doesn't have a jack that does that, for example. This is one of the reasons God invented Radio Shack. While one may find jerry-rigging equipment a repugnant thought, solving the problem on the cheap by using a little ingenuity not only is fiscally rewarding, but a great morale booster. If RS seems too low-brow (!), there are manufacturers who know that improvisation is sometimes quite necessary and have manufactured products to cover just about any need you have in mind. Let your fingers walk through the internet.....

    Finally, I agree with your comment in regard to EQ's. Many folks who take up the point of view that EQ's add more noise to the signal path and denigrate sound are generally familiar with old gear that truly sounds horrendous, have not shopped carefully enough or are just uninformed. I call myself Aa because I constantly fiddle with the sound of my music until I get the best sound possible. Bass and Treble controls are not sufficient instruments to compensate for room characteristics and recording preferences that, while appropriate to the engineers, is not appropriate for you. Your ears and subjective listening experience is yours alone, and if this means that you want more of a certain timbre to emanate from the bassoons or bass guitars, EQ's give you that ability. This is not a Ford LTD approach at all, but the approach that any self respecting listener has in mind when they listen to music. As the Lord of Audiophiology said, "Listen and you shall hear!"

    BTW: In regard to the crack about phono: the vinyl gods are still quite alive and well....
    "The great tragedy of science--the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact."--T. Huxley

  2. #27
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Sep 2002

    The (Temporary) Solution

    In case anyone is interested, I have a friend who came to my rescue with a temporary solution. He gave me his Nakamichi Receiver 3 and CD Player 3 (c. 1993, I believe) while I continue my search for a receiver that will fulfill all of my needs. It's a good temporary solution. Interestingly, the Nakamichi is pumping out only 37 W per channel, but that is rocking my house so it has put 120 W in perspective. In the meantime, I am looking at the Sherwood R-965 because it seems to satisfy all of my needs, including a tape monitor feature. Problem is that it's out of my price range. Maybe I'll wait a year or so for the price to go down more.

    Thanks for all the help here. Now it's on to cables....

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