♫ Episode #45 – Ask Andy, Hi-Fi Equipment and Speaker Placement

By Kirk on March 24, 2017

We welcome Andy Doe for another Ask Andy episode, where we discuss hi-fi equipment and speaker placement.

“If you have a valuable disc, always use a brand-new needle.”

This week’s guest:

Show notes:

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  • Andy Doe is wrong about the HF boost from the loudness control. The Fletcher-Munson curves (or whatever measurements are currently accepted) show that no such boost is required.

  • The more I hear from Andy Doe, the less-impressed I am. He doesn’t seem to know much about electronics or acoustics. His description of why it’s not good to position your listening chair in the corner is not correct.

  • It might be that the Wharfedales mentioned have lost some treble, but the fact is that they didn’t have much of it to begin with. British loudspeakers in the 70’s through 90’s usually had a very muffled sound, and the Wharfedales were among the worst in that regard. For example the then revered Celestion 700:S sound pretty awful by modern standards, as they have no treble and no deep bass to mention, but the British press absolutely loved them back then.

  • Great episode, well-done guys. I’m not into high-end audio, but I do like a nice set of Sonos, Bose or Bowers & Wilkins speakers (no turned up noses pls). Here’s comment / questions for your next Q&A show with Andy.

    I still have a Tivoli Radio One purchased 15-20 years ago. For it’s price (about 100 British pounds at the time), I still think it has great sound. I attribute this to its natural wood housing. Today, speakers of the type I mentioned above are housed in plastic. No doubt it’s easier to manufacture them and mold them into interesting shapes, but I still think the resonance of wood makes the music sound better. What’s your view on wood housings? Am I too much a wood-ophile?

    • It isn’t a question of what a cabinet is made of, but how rigid and “dead” that material is. The last thing you want is a resonant cabinet, whatever the material.

      I have a Tivoli One, and have never heard anything come out of it that suggests wooden resonance. By the way, you should plug the port on the bottom. This brings the alignment closer to “sealed cabinet”, which usually produces less-colored bass.

  • I appreciate the guests, so I don’t mean to be overly critical. It is so easy to cast stones.

    But Andy Doe should have explained to Doug that capacitors drying up after 25-30 years is not a matter of controversy. It is an undisputed fact.

    Andy Doe also does not seem to know much about high-end speakers. People don’t pay high prices to get greater frequency range. They pay for elaborate case materials and construction that dampen resonance, thus removing the most common form of speaker born distortion. Extruded aluminum is a current favourite. And they pay for exotic driver materials that are stiffer and lighter. Beryllium is a favourite for tweeters.