Originally Posted by Airsculpture
Sorry my system is "mediocre", it's pretty much all I can afford, but yes it is convenient.
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Uh, you took this the wrong way, but OK, so the rationale for posters listing their personal "system components" is what, exactly?
My '07 Corolla is a heck of a car, but not going to beat my '72 GS Stage 1 Conv. when racing 1320 feet. Both have 4 wheels, an engine, etc., and both get me to work and back.
The assumption seems to be that ALL systems sound the same when playing the elusive "perfect source." Clearly you did not mean to imply that as it is illogical.
So, listing system components must have SOME rationale. I was merely pointing out that one's components clearly have some bearing on what is heard, but that the ROOM they are in has at least as much if not more bearing on the listeners' perceptions as the individual components do, pricey or not.
All the technical measurement numbers presented previously in this thread are based upon a number of variables: the measuring devices, their calibration--are they dead-on balls accurate?--were the measurements necessarily performed in an anechoic chamber? Since they are simply measuring the performance of a piece of hardware encoded a certain way (a CODEC), how does that measurement translate to an actual "listening" experience in your room, and so forth?
If I have an A Capella group or a solo piano player perform in YOUR room and place them where your speakers are and have, oh, I don't know, Peter McGrath, say, record them live, will you be able to hear the difference between the live and recorded performance on his Stellavox or any specific digital recorder? Will there be post-recording processing? Will the mics have to be positioned several times before the performance to provide that "perfect" sound? Where will YOU be sitting, standing, etc.?
That's all I was trying to point out. Listing system components has to have some rationale; money cleearly plays SOME part in the equation as reliability is built into the price you pay if the company is a normal business, so the design points for your specific component are dictated by the retail price point the manufacturer sets. Obviously, hand-built items constructed from individually-measured components that must meet specific quality standards are going to cost more than mass-produced items that tolerate higher technical deviations of individual components. Yes, digital this and that, in many cases, simply requires sourcing the cheapest HW and not worrying about MTBF, but most on here do at least SOME research and listening prior to making any purchase regardless of their budget. (For example, high-end Nakamichi cassette decks sounded very good in the day, but were very expensive, and pretty much every one of them failed within a month of purchase and had to be sent back for repair. Did they build those costs into the retail price? Would you have bought one knowing this regardless of the sound quality?)
If you are not taking the individual items home and listening to them there before you buy, you might make an error based on some measurement or some review or opinion. That was basically the point I was trying to make, as well as pointing out that "digital" did not necessarily mean "musical" or "accurate" per my comment on the drums and organ issues.
Finally be sure to buy expensive interconnects; it is clear to me, because I have personally spoken to them, that electrons DESPISE travelling on cheap 12 stranded copper wire when they could be skating luxuriously down the wonderful world of non-oxygenated extra-virgin platinum-molybdenum-gold-silver hand-pulled strands encased in South American oil-based sheathing attached to 24-Caret gold terminals. (OK, gold ends don't corrode as quickly as chrome, but seriously???)