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High End Audio: System Building:
The process of assembling a good system is actually quite simple and can be broken down to a series of simple steps:
Step 1. Select the Loudspeakers:
To the novice buyer the speaker system is the heart of a good system; we know that it is very important but is only one part of the audio reproduction chain. The loudspeakers should be the first part that is selected. Loudspeakers differ in size, shape, and color. You should choose loudspeakers which complement the room; if you have a small room than a bookshelf or stand mounted speaker will work best, if you have a large room than floor standing speakers are your best bet. If the loudspeakers visual impact are important than high quality wall mounted or ceiling mounted speakers may be your best choice.
Step 2. Select the Electonics:
High quality electronics are the cornerstone of a good system. The better the electronics the more real the sound becomes! As the speaker systems become more expensive with superior resolution, the better the electronics should be.
As a general rule the price of a system's electronics should equal or exceed the price of the speaker system. A system's electronics preserve the minute details in your music, creating a three dimensional sonic picture, better electronics also control the speakers with greater and greater control. A truly magnificent amplifier will allow your speakers to come alive with tighter bass and greater dynamic contrasts.
Step 3. Select the Source Components:
The final part of a quality music reproduction system is the source components that we use to store or access your music collection. Today we have a wide variety of both analog and digital sources to choose from: CD players, Digital to Analog Converters (which connect to an IPod or computer (either wireless or wired,) AM/FM Radio, Internet Radio, Record Players, tape decks, etc.
As with the electronics, the sound quality of the source components are equally important, the better the source component the more real your music will become! A higher quality source will retrieve more information out of the medium. CD players for example are not all alike, digital is not digital!
Audio Doctor displays CD players or DAC's from $500.00 to ones which sell for over $25,000.00! A more expensive digital source sounds dramatically better than a less expensive one! As you explore higher resolution digital playback, the sound stage becomes wider and more well defined and you will hear overtones in instruments that you never heard before! In addition tiny details that you never heard before come into sharp focus. The key to a system's ultimate performance is the quality of the source!
Step 4. Select Cabling and Power Conditioning:
The last part of a good system is the connecting cables and clean stable power. No matter how good your components are, if you don't use good cables your system will never be able to perform optimally. If you lose information from one component to another it doesn't matter how good the components are, lost information can never be remade.