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Mike Poole07/08/2014 21:43:12
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I think that the human part of any quality device can be the weak link, after 40 years of aural abuse I don't think my ears would be impressed by a high end HiFi, riding a motorcycle that had my ears ringing after 1 hour and friends refusing to follow me, years of rock concerts and pub rock on a regular basis, ears ringing for 3 days after a Ted Nugent gig. Put me in a Mercedes F1 car and I dont think Lewis Hamilton would be too worried. I doubt that owning a Dean Smith and Grace lathe would make me a first class machinist. My wife,and it seems most other wives are not impressed by Hd TV or HiFi I am often assured that her friend has some tiny speakers that sound good and do we really need my Castle Conways as they take up so much space.

Mike

Oompa Lumpa07/08/2014 22:10:02
888 forum posts
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I'll see your Castle Conways and raise you a pair of Quad Electrostatics which Gentlemen, are the finest speakers ever made, bar none. (Except for real Heavy Metal - It can break them - don't ask) I also see your Naim Amplifier and raise you a Croft Pre-Amplifier with Valve Phono stage. Made in the UK by Mr Glen Croft: http://www.croftacoustics.co.uk/

For the finest Power Amplifier, Mr. Wolstenhome of Avondale Electronics has some great stuff and produced the finest CD transport with his reworking of the Arcam. For a deck, try a Lenco. With a nice arm and cartridge done by Northwest Analogue.

No, know nothing about Hi-Fi.

graham.

Mike Poole07/08/2014 22:32:44
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Have given up on HiFi now, the Conways are suffering the ignomy of being used as a shelf for Bluray player and Humax until a suitable unit is found. Music is now streamed from Nas drive to Sonos powered speakers and Playbar. Not an unpleasent sound, but it's not HiFi by any stretch of the imagination. CDs now stored.

Mike

Jon08/08/2014 00:26:57
1001 forum posts
49 photos

Now the Croft pre amp and valve phono are stunning or was 24 years ago and not that dear. Locally made too its where I bought most of my resistors to mod the integrated Ion 3 Welsh amp along with caps, Vishays, schotkys, 6n copper silver plated and so on.

Lead loaded platter shelf target sand filled, triple spiked Y piece sandwich, Roksan Xeres, Atremis, Ortofon MC2000 Audionote tonearm rewired want to try soldering 0.05mm cross section lacquered. Not many better regardless of price and it was neutral uncoloured. I can get the doors to visually move with 30 realwatts and SD Acoustics OBS rewired of course firing backwards with tv aerial coax fo rbass unit and a French cable for tweeter and mid bi wired. Soundstage cd can only dream of much like the Quads. Separate spur and earthed outside house with 1m copper tube, could tell when it was raining even better what time of day it was. All British Iron except cartridge.

My Pink Triangle was alright as well with Linn tonearm about the price of a respectable cd deck, nearly bought a Michell Gyrodeck. Never like the Linn LP12 too coloured.

Want bass Townsend Rock with cheap RB250 and Koetsu Red Signature. Been out of it 23 years.

Ady108/08/2014 02:31:08
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Spending loadsa dosh on fancy speakers is a bit of a waste of money if you're an old duffer

Our hearing range as youngsters goes up to 20KHz but drops badly in old age

A chap with a Samsung Galaxy app showed me sound dropping from 20Khz to 5KHz and neither of us (both in our 50s) heard a darned thing until around the 5KHz range

So if you want to get your moneys worth from your speakers.... give them to a teenager

Clive Hartland08/08/2014 09:07:57
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One wishes that the sound from modern TV's was good! Watching the US DVD's I get the impression the sound is 'Clipped' which to my ears makes it muffled/mumbled. I often think I should put it through the stereo amp and see what it sounds like from that system.

I agree good stereo kit enhances the sound from vinyl, used to make my own stereo amps. Mullard 5 + 5 and 10 + 10. had great fun making them as small as possible. Also wiring the speaker wrongly and having it motor boating across the floor! Further to this I used to make crystal radios pre tuned for stations that I fitted into a jack plug, they worked fine through the stereo amp.

Clive

Russell Eberhardt08/08/2014 09:22:07
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Posted by Clive Hartland on 08/08/2014 09:07:57:Mullard 5 + 5 and 10 + 10. had great fun making them as small as possible.

Weren't they the 5-10 and 5-20? I built a 5-10 in the late 50s but then went on to a Williamson which necessitated hand winding the "ultra linear" output transformer.

Russell.

Gordon W08/08/2014 09:31:36
2011 forum posts

This is well of topic but not complaining, just don't understand. My best speakers came out of an old caravan that was broken up.

Bazyle08/08/2014 09:33:16
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That's more like it Clive. At school I used to help people wire up their Sinclair amp modules. By college I had made my own preamp using the standard 2N2926 trannies for the SP25 turntable but didn't get round to an amp for years. Instead I used my mono valve Elizabethan tape recorder. If you ever see the Monty Python Sweeny Todd haircutting sketch that's the tape recorder. Still got the bits somewhere. I wonder how the capacitors are fairing.

Currently listening with the speakers my sister got 40 years ago. They are obviously HiFi a they have 3 speakers which you can see as I didn't get the fronts when I pinched them off her. I don't bother with records anymore,. I employ a bunch of people to play a selection of music continuously and just press buttons on the remote until I find one I like.

Russell Eberhardt08/08/2014 09:37:31
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2728 forum posts
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Back on topic, well almost:

I wonder how many people who decry the quality of far eastern manufacturing have actually been there and seen it? When I first went to China to get transformers made, over 20 years ago, there were a few good manufacturers but a lot of people working out of dirty premises the size of a double garage. You couldn't tell the difference without visiting.

Since then things have improved enormously and quality control in many cases is better than in the UK. Of course quality doesn't mean supplying a Rolls Royce when the customer wants a Mini - it's all about meeting the customer's requirements.

As an example of one of my more recent experiences, I had some plastic mouldings made in the UK. It took 12 weeks for the tools to be made and then the samples off the tool were wrong and the tool had to be re-worked. A bit later I needed some other mouldings and went to the far east. I sent them CAD drawings, they performed flow analysis, made the tools, and sent perfect samples back within about three weeks all at a fraction of the cost in the UK.

I haven't been out there for about six years now and it would be interesting to hear how things have progressed from more recent visitors.

Russell.

Clive Hartland08/08/2014 09:37:35
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Yes, you are right Russel, old age and memory playing tricks.

Clive

Neil Wyatt08/08/2014 12:25:11
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I have very 'umble Rotel deck that replaced my Garrard a quarter century ago, a Panasonic amp that replaced a 'tripletone' and KEF Coda speakers that replaced RS dual cone speakers in my own boxes. In the workshop I have a pair of speakers from a Phillips music centre and a very basic home-made one-IC amp. Sounds better than some of the 'hi-fi' I was exposed to in the 80s without having to have 15" speakers 'for bass you can really feel', as Tandy used to advertise.

Neil

NJH08/08/2014 12:39:16
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2314 forum posts
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Many years ago ( in the good old days of valves) I worked with an old guy who was a Hi Fi fanatic - he had a much modified Rogers amp which he sold to me as a foundation for my first Hi Fi system. He lived in a small house and had blocked in one side of his fireplace to make a horn enclosure for his speaker - and it sounded great with superb bass performance. There was a snag however. Great stereo equipment - successful speaker construction BUT, try as he might, his wife would not let him build the enclosure for the second speaker in the other alcove!

Norman

Edited By NJH on 08/08/2014 12:41:25

Mike Poole08/08/2014 13:17:51
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The impression that I get is the Chinese manufactures will make what you ask them to make. I spoke to a chap at a model show who had some dealings with the Chinese manufacturers, he said the Chinese view of the British was they wanted the cheapest price possible whereas the Germans were interested in quality. I think the perception of poor quality is what you get at the cheapest price, pay more and you can have better quality. Most of the products we associate as quality items are made in Asia/China. BMW build cars in China, I am sure they and all the other top brands will not risk their reputations on shoddy goods, so the Chinese build what they require. I am sure a Myford could be built in China to Myfords fit finish and accuracy but it would probably only come out a bit cheaper than Uk manufacture. The post war Myfords were not at the bottom end of the market in their day but were so much better than the opposition alot of people scrimped and saved to buy one. The market that was wiped out first was the bottom end Uk manufacturers, the Asian machines for all their faults were a massive bargain and streets ahead of the cheap Uk machines. Eventually the price quality equasion made it hard to justify the extra money to buy British. Us home shop machinists probably had a free ride on the back of educational supply anyway and with the decline of that market no one could make a living out of the Uk HSM market.

Mike

Chris Trice08/08/2014 13:46:48
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People forget that branded goods such as Nikon, Canon, Sony etc may have a factory and employ a workforce from China or Taiwan (because the labour costs are cheaper) but the factory itself, the manufacturing quipment in it and most importantly, the quality control is directly under their control. They're not buying a Chinese product and putting their own label on it.
V8Eng08/08/2014 14:26:55
1696 forum posts
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Speaking as somebody who wears a pair of hearing aids these days, the Hi Fi discussion is pretty academic!

Mike Poole08/08/2014 15:00:26
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The Japanese had a pretty poor reputation in the fifties and sixties but they saw that quality was the key to success, with good design, attention to detail and manufacturing processes they very quickly built a formidable reputation for quality and reliability. Using the Japanese manufacturing processes the Chinese worker can match the best in the world, I suspect their home grown brands will quickly match the worlds best but as with Japan the product cost will rise with the quality and then it will be the turn of the next emerging economy to build the poor quality products until they too learn the quality methods.

Mike

Neil Wyatt08/08/2014 18:42:51
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Hi Chris,

> They're not buying a Chinese product and putting their own label on it.

I'm not saying that isn't true in some cases, but my understanding is that many 'quality' brands do exactly that; they may specify certain 'upgrades', but some products come off the same line as the 'budget' devices do on another day.

> it will be the turn of the next emerging economy to build the poor quality products

India is already undercutting China with lower quality goods.

Africa will be next after that.

If it's a 20-year cycle the UK will be next when we start manufacturing again in 2060

Neil

Russell Eberhardt08/08/2014 20:21:23
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Posted by Michael Poole on 08/08/2014 15:00:26:

Using the Japanese manufacturing processes the Chinese worker can match the best in the world, I suspect their home grown brands will quickly match the worlds best

Yes, Apple and Samsung need to watch out for Lenovo tablets and mobile phones!

Russell.

Mike Poole08/08/2014 21:37:09
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With so many premium brands being manufactured in Asia they are having a perfect training course laid on in their own backyard, the japanese had to visit Europe and the USA to begin with but went away and developed manufacturing and quality control to a fine art. Often the design is still in Europe USA and Japan but looking at the amount of Asian students studying at the worlds top universitys I am sure they will soon have the design and inovation of world beating products sorted out. Neil, that thought of our turn coming round again has crossed my mind, with so many people on the minimum wage already, we are well on our way.

Mike

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