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what hi-fi

peterbrpeterbr Posts: 2,076
edited June 2007 in Campaign
Is it just me or is this publication (hopefully not from the same house as C+) utter bollocks? At best a glossy broucher.

For a start they don't publish any information about how they test although I did hear that they don't double-blind to avoid the embarrasing we rate this œ29.95 DVD player better than some œ2000 job.

In the issue I have, they claim it's worth spending œ50 on a cable to "clean-up digital noise". Please how is this possible in all but a tiny evelope of signal degradation where the error-correction method has to work overtime. Surely the free cable should be expect to work and nopt transmit any serious errors? Then there is the special mains cables where they say, you shouldn't expect this to work "but it does". Really? did you double-blind test?

Then there is a 5-star recommendation for a œ2000 DVD player. No doubt Arcam have done a great job with it, but that amount of money when high-definition will certainly take off by the end of next year? Surely, that kind of investment is absurd?

I really cannot believe I'm reading such bilge. œ3.99 is very nearly a pint and a half.

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"Europe\'s nations should be guided towards a superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation"
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  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Agreed. i stopped buying the Hi-Fi press decades ago, when it became obvious that were simply an arm of the corporate salesman and not offering any properly objective insights into the equipment.

    Today i read this:

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/int.html

    First off its free. But its main strength is its willingness to examine equipment from perspectives other than those imposed by the big name monopolies.

    The Pink Fish Media forum is also brilliant.

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  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    I used to read the mag a lot and have found it to be pretty decent over the years. Remember some people think cyclists are mad for spending œ2000+ on a bike, HiFi enthusiasts are just as nuts. I put together a system a few years back that cost me a fair few bob and comprises of 2 Power amps, a Pre Amp, Home cinema decoder, DVD player, CD player, 5 speakers and a beautiful Steel and Glass stand. Shelled out for good quality cabling as well. The whole thing sounds utterly fantastic. You'd be amazed at the different sound 2 identically price CD players can produce, let alone a œ30 one compared to a œ300 one. Of course like bikes once you get into silly money the improvements are subtle indeed, but if something is your passion, why not spend your hard earned money on it?

    My Best Bike
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • bobbypbobbyp Posts: 275
    I've given up on them all except HiFi+. It is developing a bit of a tendency towards silly priced kit to drool over but what's wrong with a bit of hifi pron every now and again? The reason I stick with it is that they tend to have interesting articles and reviews of actual music (which is after all, why we buy a hifi), along with quite in-depth editorial not focussed on particular bits of kit.

    That and the fact they steadfastly ingnore all that home cinema b*ll*cks which fills the rest of the press.
  • ransosransos Posts: 380
    There's a million dollar prize available for anyone who can tell the sonic difference between different types of cable, in a double-blind trial. Funnily enough no-one has managed it.
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    The cables myth was exposed in the Guardian's Bad Science column.

    http://www.badscience.net/?p=202#more-202
  • andyoxonandyoxon Posts: 2,205
    The aim of most of the 'which/what' mag publishers is to get you to buy them regularly, or better still subscribe, and hope that you'll line both their pockets and of all their advertisers etc. I've found that if you're happy with what you've got - they're a waste of money and become tediously repetitive. I've still got the NAD/Denon/Sherwood/Celestion system I bought in the late 80s; the DL4-II's still sound great - but maybe I'm easily pleased...[;)]

    Andy

    --- Beware of 'all things being equal' - because very often they are not. ---
    --- Beware of \'all things being equal\' - because very often they are not. ---
  • Gary AskwithGary Askwith Posts: 1,835
    Not confined to hi-fi either...so many of those dozens of mags in Smiths are the same techno-fashion repetitive garbage...instant obsolescence a manufacturing ploy to get the over-affluent geek-nerd-fashion numpties throwing cash their way...
    I love the way (esp in car mags) last years best ever near-perfect specimen suddemly becomes this years flawed has-been unfashionable old nail [:)][}:)]

    Cattle feed for trivia-merchants







    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....
  • Very efficient crossoverless horns, and directly heated single-ended valve amps, are what I want to try. Trouble is, commercial versions are very expensive, so to afford them you really have to build them yourself; and there is a huge amount of information on the Internet about the low power/high efficiency approach to help you do just that. I really must get round to acquiring the necessary woodworking and electronics skills.
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    i fancy one of the DIY IPL transmission line speakers Nick. They have decent reviews on TNT - and appear to be exceptional value.

    Using a combination of small Harbeths and a sub currently, very pleasing sound, but subs seem to have a poorish reputation amongst the purists, making me feel a bit uneasy.

    i'm such a sucker for trends.

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  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    Getting a home cinema speaker kit this weekend, as it happens.

    Real cinema sound, which means throughout the film you hear:

    "What's he been in again, pass the maltesers, harrummmpphh, cough cough cough cough cough".


    When my mate got one of these packages he demonstrated it to me by showing the Valkyries scene from Apocalypse Now and it was like being back in 'nam. The helicopters seemed to be coming from behind you.
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    No - don't take the home cinema route rothy. Hi Fi is about purity and accuracy of sound and invocation of emotion, not gimmickary.

    Nicks knows of this stuff and he's surely a neighbour?

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  • A friend of mine once built a pair of Hi-Fi News "Ace" speakers (this was way back in the 70s). It's a very simple single-driver omnidirectional tuned pipe design, a simple variation on horn loading. They weren't perfect, but they sounded far more dynamic than anything else I have ever heard. Every commercial speaker I've heard (nearly all bass reflex designs these days) is "slow" and woefully lacking in presence by comparison, hence my desire for some horns...

    ...and the single-ended valve amp is the natural partner of a horn loudspeaker, because its low damping factor liberates the low frequencies and gives a bit of oomph that would be missing if you used an amp with a feedback circuit. That's the theory, anyway. Even though single-driver horns don't do everything well (frequency extremes, mainly) I like the idea of a loudspeaker that is more a musical instrument than a technological artefact, and that allows scope for tuning and voicing.
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    What, you mean plug the telly into the hifi?

    BT do a home hub system I think for about œ180 so your speakers and hifi can be operated anywhere in the house. I like.
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    No rothy, don't take the BT route either. Talk to Nick, who knows of this stuff, and is a neighbour or friend or both i'll warrant.

    Unless you are he.

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  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    You in East London Nick, or were you the girl I met in The Heathcote last year, in which case apologies, that hardly ever happens to me.
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rothbook</i>

    You in East London Nick, or were you the girl I met in The Heathcote last year, in which case apologies, that hardly ever happens to me.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">SE10 - through the Greenwich foot tunnel and turn left for about a mile.

    Mind you, I have rather snooty tastes in music [:D]
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    South London smells of wee.
  • Gary AskwithGary Askwith Posts: 1,835
    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by NickM</i>

    <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by rothbook</i>

    You in East London Nick, or were you the girl I met in The Heathcote last year, in which case apologies, that hardly ever happens to me.
    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">SE10 - through the Greenwich foot tunnel and turn left for about a mile.

    <hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">

    My Deepest comisserations.....[;)][:p]

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....

    Economic Growth; as dead as a Yangtze River dolphin....
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Cheers for the links Nick. i'm told that rothy needs a bit of hi-fi advice, an you know of such stuff.

    Although his ears may need some re-education, he's reasonably ok on general forum etiquette. Nevertheless, a friendly word mightn't go amiss.

    ;-)



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  • CretinCretin Posts: 266
    I've spent a fair bit on hifi over the years, but I stopped some time ago when I realised I was getting more interested in the technology than the music.

    Today I have Roksan TT, Arcam CD, Naim pre, and 2 Valve power amps, connected to a nice pair of expensive speakers I got incredibly cheaply from Ebay.

    One day I plan to buy some ESL63's but right now I don't have the room for them :(


    As for cables, I'm afraid its all pretty standard - good quality connectors with decent screened conductor, some cheap but fat speaker cable, and totally standard power plugs.

    I understand the theory behind determining the correct impedance for various cables, and it's certainly very important when mixing components (to ensure the most efficient power delivery), but I feel the most important contribution you can make to a good hifi is not cables or connectors, but room acoustics.

    It still sounds bloody amazing when I play Bear McCreary's BSG season 2 soundtrack. Valve amplifiers are excellent (although 8 EL34's aren't great for keeping the house cool on a summer's day!)
  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    Nick, if i get a new hifi and play a Country and Western song backwards, will my dog come back to life and my girlfriend return?
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    i had some esl 57s. Picked em up at a Cornish junk shop pre (ePay days) for œ50. They were stunning, but needed too much room and no toddlers, so they went (œ350!).

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  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    'Stand by your Van'..

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  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    "Galloping hooves in the night remind me I married a goat".
  • <blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by Gary Askwith</i>

    My Deepest comisserations.....[;)][:p]<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">Could be worse - it's really easy to escape, both North and South [:)]

    Hence the extensive use of the motor car as cycling accessory [:I]
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Can't imagine why your girlfriend might have left rothy. Any insight?

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  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    I told her I love black nail varnish so she got the crazy idea I slammed her hand in the car door on purpose.
  • redcogsredcogs Posts: 3,232
    Easy to see why the dog died though - they have sensitive ears - cinema surround sound probably did the trick.

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  • rothbookrothbook Posts: 943
    The dog died cos he used to chase people on bikes. One day the chain snapped and he fell off, sadly missed.
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