Originally Posted by penngray
mcnarus's contribution is way beyond most around here and you really have no idea about his knowledge with a post like that.
The end comment makes me wonder. Do you have room treatments at all? Do you spend all that money on electronics instead of speakers? I would love to challenge you to an audio knowledge contest. I doubt you have a chance, I doubt you have ever measured a damn thing in audio, never built a speaker or a custom room. I would bet your expensive (overpriced) system has more flaws in it then you are remotely aware of, so much for you having a good system
In the end I believe you only are a product of audio marketing. Your kind is why the audio industry was blowing smoke up customers butholes for years. Its a great thing that people like McNarus exist on a forum like this because it cuts through the BS and gets into the audio science.
In summary back to the OP.
NEVER spend more then 20% of your budget on electronics. Room and speakers are what matter. If you want to improve sound, improve one of those. Electronic is just a coloration mechanism since after a small amount of $$$ there is ZERO improvement on the noise floor, distortion is inauble and you are just paying for marketing.
When a guy says that he has a really crappy cheap amplifier and CD player and a very good set of speakers, and wants advice on upgrading his amplifier and CD player, mcnarus' advice is to spend money on speakers, because all CD players pretty much sound the same and so do amplifiers.
That tells me that mcnarus is either very inexperienced or stone deaf and has no worthwhile opinion to offer; loud and clear. No one with any meaningful experience in audio can respect that kind of ridiculous advice.
I built my first Klipschorn speakers from a Klipsch kit in 1959, and also built an ultralinear amplifier from scratch at the same time, and I have been hearing dramatic differences between good and bad amplifiers ever since, as well as measuring performance on the test bench. I have designed and built many amplifiers and speakers from scratch, not to mention transmitters, receivers, antennas, and dozens of other electronic devices.
Anyone who says that a guy should spend money to replace an excellent set of speakers and not replace a terrible amplifier is way out in left field. MY current system has about $7000 in speakers and $10,000 in the preamplifier and power amplifier, and my listening experience led me to buy these particular items because I LISTENED to them and many others extensively and could not get what I wanted in sound quality for less. Every part of my system is a product of 50 years of extensive and careful LISTENING, because for most of my life I was trying (and still am) to squeeze the most sound quality out of a limited budget.
I firmly believe in spending money on a good amplifier FIRST, so that one can HEAR what is coming from the CD player and judge the very real differences in them, and also so one can judge the differences in speakers. Trying to judge the differences in CD players without a decent amplifier is like trying to see something clearly a mile away with dirt on your binoculars.
After 50 years of LISTENING to the differences between CD players and amplifiers, I know that there are dramatic differences in the distortion levels they produce, so forgive me if I am not impressed by someone who does not yet seem to have come to appreciate that reality.
I taught electronics for 32 years at the college level after working in engineering at Douglas Aircraft as an Instrumentation Technician for 10 years (where testing and measurement was my whole job, including acoustic analysis of ducting and takeoffs/landings). I have spent hundreds of hours testing audio gear in my lab using state-of-the-art spectrum analyzers and distortion analzyzers. So much for your doubt about my experience.
I was the architect of my own home in 1994, and studied acoustics at the UCLA engineering school under a professor who consulted on the excellent acoustic design of Disney Hall in the LA Music Center. My 15' x 35' living/listening room was designed with dimensions, materials, and furnishings that provide a near-perfect acoustic environment; no acoustical band-aids needed.
My system has Audio Research Electronics and Vandersteen speakers and subwoofers. Similar systems using these components have consistently been judged to be among the "best of show" repeatedly at CES and other audio shows over the past 10 years. My Ayre C5-Xe CD player and the Sony SCD-XA5400ES that recently superseded it have won rave reviews and are both rated A+ by Stereophile. My purchases were strictly based on my own careful auditioning in my own home, but it IS nice to know that experienced experts in the field seem to have come to similar conclusions.
That Sony, by the way, is a remarkable product. For only $1500, it not only is better than the $6000 Ayre, but it sounds better in my personal comparisons than any other CD player I know of for under $10,000; a remarkable engineering accomplishment.
My money is not unlimited, but I would challenge anyone to build a better system for the money (around $30,000).
It seems that you are 100% wrong about everything that you falsely assumed in the nonsense you posted above; that is the trouble with proceeding with no knowledge and assuming a lot of nonsense.