Home | Audio Reviews | Audio Shows | Partner Mags | News     


Enjoy the Music.com
Volume 6 No. 2
By Paul Messenger


  It does one good to get out now and again. True. But the world outside can be a confusing and daunting place.

For more than twenty years, most of my attention has been firmly focused on loudspeaker reviewing, mainly for Hi-Fi Choice magazine. I came into the business through an early chance relationship with Spendor, have always liked loudspeakers and their foibles, and feel some empathy with their unique combination of simplicity, subtlety and complexity. Add in the fact that new models are always queueing up to get themselves reviewed, and not much time has been left over to get too involved in other components.

One major bonus of reviewing loudspeakers is that it fits in neatly with the key paradigm for scientific method, to change one variable at a time. Sure, variations in positioning and room interaction, and changes in speaker cables and (sometimes) stands can affect the end result, but by and large the signal source can be kept more or less constant throughout, which brings some consistency to one’s judgments.

Or so I thought, before the Voxativ Ampeggio Dues arrived, forcing me to confront some of the more subtle aspects of the amp/speaker interface. Sure the Voxativs work well enough on the end of the Naim NAC552/NAP500 amp combo which I normally use and continue to regard as a fine reference point. But the characteristics of these speakers do tend to highlight the limitations of that particular class of amplification, instead favouring some single-ended triode alternatives I had to hand.

It's not that one set of amplifiers was actually better than the other. Rather that one was better suited the strengths and weaknesses of this particular pair of speakers. Admittedly it took a while for the pennies to drop, but because the Voxativs have very high sensitivity and favour the broad midband over the frequency extremes, they really do work best with the low power, low noise and midband-oriented valve amps. The corollary is that more conventional large multi-way speakers tend to better suit solid state amps.

Power amps, loudspeakers and their interactions are interesting enough, but their ultimate influence on the sound of a system is never going to be as musically or emotionally significant as improving the source.

Reducing my speaker reviewing activities has meant getting more involved in components further up the chain. I’m not sure whether this is better described as a quicksand or a minefield, but either way it has taken me further outside my comfort zone than I expected. That has much to do with a considerable increase in the number of possible extra variables one has to deal with: support furniture, mains cables and signal cables, to name just the most obvious three.

We're talking moving targets here, not to mention an unavoidable bubble of uncertainty. For example, early in this issue’s schedule I was starting to wonder whether digital audio in general and computer audio in particular was getting close to challenging vinyl replay. Then the Tiger Paw Khan arrived, upgrading my vinyl source and confirming anew its sonic supremacy.


Paul Messenger


Click here to subscribe to HIFICRITIC












































Quick Links

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews


Enjoy the Music.TV


Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Show Reports
Salon Audio Montréal Audiofest 2023
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2023
Capital Audiofest Show 2022
KL International AV Show 2022
Toronto Audiofest Show 2022
CanJam SoCal 2022 Show Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Report
T.H.E. Show 2022 Report
HIGH END Munich 2022
AXPONA 2022 Show Report
CanJam Singapore 2022 Report
Click here for previous shows.


Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty


Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Sound Practices
The Absolute Sound
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics


Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!




Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2023  HighEndAudio.com and Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.