Cover image for The complete guide to high-end audio
Title:
The complete guide to high-end audio
Author:
Harley, Robert.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Albuquerque, N.M. : Acapella Pub., 1998.
Physical Description:
xxiv, 558 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780964084957

9780964084940
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library TK7881.7 .H27 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Robert Harley, Editor-in-Chief of The Absolute Sound and The Perfect Vision magazines, tells you everything you need to know to become a better listener and better buyer of quality high-fidelity components. With this book you will discover how to get the best sound for your money; how to identify the weak links in your system and upgrade where it will do the most good; how to setup and tweak your system to get maximum performance from equipment you already own; and, most of all, how to become a more perceptive and appreciative listener. This book makes hi-fi more fun! Widely acknowledged as the reference on high-quality music reproduction with more than 100,000 copies sold in four languages, The Complete Guide to High-End Audio has been newly expanded, revised, and updated to cover the latest developments in high-end audio. New sections include: high-resolution digital audio; SACD and DVD-Audio; multichannel audio; how to integrate home theater into a high-performance music system; more system setup secrets; the latest developments in audio technology -- and more! Book jacket.


Author Notes

Robert Harley is Editor-in-Chief of The Absolute Sound and The Perfect Vision magazines, and author of Home Theater For Everyone: A Practical Guide to Today's Home Entertainment Systems


Robert Harley is Editor-in-Chief of The Absolute Sound and The Perfect Vision magazines, and author of Home Theater For Everyone: A Practical Guide to Today's Home Entertainment Systems


Table of Contents

Forewordp. xvi
Prefacep. xviii
About the Authorp. xx
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
1 What is High-End Audio?p. 1
2 Choosing a High-End Audio Systemp. 7
Introductionp. 7
Setting Your Budgetp. 9
The Complete vs. the Incremental Purchasep. 10
Choosing the System Best Suited to Your Needsp. 12
Allocating Your Budget to Specific Componentsp. 14
Upgrading a Single Componentp. 18
How to Read Magazine Reviewsp. 19
System Matchingp. 23
Do's and Don'ts of Selecting Componentsp. 24
Your Relationship with the Retailerp. 26
Used Equipmentp. 29
Product Upgradesp. 30
Setting Up Your System for the Best Soundp. 30
Component Selection Summaryp. 32
3 Becoming a Better Listenerp. 33
Audiophile Valuesp. 36
Pitfalls of Becoming a Critical Listenerp. 39
Sonic Descriptions and their Meaningsp. 40
Critical Listening Setup Proceduresp. 63
Recommended Recordingsp. 66
Single-Presentation Listening--What It's All Aboutp. 69
Critical Listening Summaryp. 70
Level Matchingp. 71
4 How to Get the Best Sound from Your Roomp. 73
Introductionp. 73
Loudspeaker Placementp. 74
Common Room Problems and How to Treat Themp. 92
Acoustical Do's and Don'tsp. 104
A Short Course in Acoustical Theoryp. 105
Building a Listening Room from Scratchp. 118
DSP Room Correctionp. 123
A Survey of Acoustical Treatmentsp. 127
5 Preamplifiersp. 131
Introductionp. 131
How to Choose a Preamplifierp. 133
What to Listen Forp. 136
Tubes vs. Transistorsp. 139
The Line-Stage Preamplifierp. 142
The Phono-Stage Preamplifierp. 143
The Digital Preamplifierp. 147
Audio/Video Controllers and Multichannel Preamplifierp. 148
Passive Level Controls: Are They Right for Your System?p. 149
How a Preamplifier Worksp. 150
6 Power and Integrated Amplifiersp. 155
Introductionp. 155
How to Choose a Power Amplifierp. 156
Other Power-Amplifier Considerationsp. 167
What to Listen Forp. 171
A Survey of Amplifier Typesp. 174
How a Power Amplifier Worksp. 181
7 Loudspeakersp. 193
Introductionp. 193
How to Choose a Loudspeakerp. 194
What to Listen Forp. 199
Loudspeaker Types and How They Workp. 201
The Dipolar Radiation Patterns of Ribbons and Electrostaticsp. 215
Loudspeaker Enclosuresp. 216
Powered and Servo-Driven Woofersp. 226
Enclosure Resonancesp. 228
Crossoversp. 232
Digital Loudspeakersp. 236
Subwoofersp. 239
Loudspeaker Standsp. 243
8 Digital Source Componentsp. 245
Introductionp. 245
How to Choose a Digital Sourcep. 247
What to Listen Forp. 248
State-of-the-Art CD Playback: Dedicated CD Players and Separate Transports and Processorsp. 252
Why 44.1kHz Sampling and 16-bit Quantization Aren't Enoughp. 255
High-Resolution Digital Audio: SACD and DVD-Audiop. 258
Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD)p. 261
DVD-Audiop. 267
Universal Playersp. 271
Digital-Audio Serversp. 274
Upsamplingp. 275
The Digital Transportp. 277
The Digital Processorp. 280
Balanced Outputs: Why They're Not All Created Equalp. 282
The S/PDIF Digital Interfacep. 285
High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD)p. 293
Digital Recording Formats: CD Recordable, MiniDisc, and MP3p. 296
How a Digital Processor Worksp. 299
How a CD Transport Worksp. 307
How the S/PDIF Interface Worksp. 311
9 Turntables, Tonearms, and Cartridges: The LP Playback Systemp. 313
Introductionp. 313
System Hierarchy: Why the LP Front End Is So Importantp. 314
How to Choose an LP Playback Systemp. 315
What to Listen Forp. 317
Technical Aspects of Choosing an LP Front Endp. 320
The Turntablep. 322
The Tonearmp. 331
The Phono Cartridgep. 334
LP Playback System Setupp. 339
10 FM Tuners and Digital Audio Radiop. 343
Introductionp. 343
How to Choose a Tunerp. 344
What to Listen Forp. 347
Tuner Specifications and Measurementsp. 348
Digital Audio Radio Service: XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radiop. 350
Radio Data System (RDS)p. 352
11 Cables and Interconnectsp. 353
Introductionp. 353
How to Choose Cables and Interconnectsp. 355
How Much Should You Spend on Cables and Interconnects?p. 357
What to Listen Forp. 358
Binding Posts and Cable Terminationsp. 360
Bi-Wired Loudspeaker Cablesp. 361
Balanced and Unbalanced Linesp. 363
Digital Interconnectsp. 367
Cable and Interconnect Constructionp. 367
Terminated Cables and Interconnectsp. 371
Battery Bias in Cables and Interconnectsp. 372
Cable and Interconnect Specificationsp. 373
Cables in the Power Amplifier/Loudspeaker Interfacep. 374
Getting the Best Sound from Cables and Interconnectsp. 375
12 High-End Audio Accessoriesp. 377
How to Choose Accessoriesp. 377
Stands and Racksp. 378
Accessories to Isolate and Control Vibration: Spikes, Feet, and Conesp. 380
AC Power Conditionersp. 382
CD Treatmentsp. 386
Portable Audiop. 387
Binaural Recordingsp. 389
Cassette Decksp. 390
Other Accessoriesp. 393
Voodoo Accessories and the Lunatic Fringep. 398
13 Audio for Home Theaterp. 399
Introductionp. 399
Overview of Home-Theater Systemsp. 401
Home-Theater Controllersp. 404
Multichannel Power Amplifiersp. 413
Loudspeakers for Home Theaterp. 415
Setting up a Home Theaterp. 421
Adding Home Theater without Compromising Music Performancep. 428
14 Multichannel Audiop. 431
Introductionp. 431
A Short History of Multichannel Audiop. 431
Do We Want Multichannel Music Playback?p. 434
How to Get Multichannel Audio in Your Homep. 440
Multichannel Playback from 2-Channel Sourcesp. 445
Ambisonicsp. 447
15 Specifications and Measurementsp. 451
Preamplifier Specifications and Measurementsp. 451
Power Amplifier Specifications and Measurementsp. 456
Loudspeaker Specifications and Measurementsp. 460
Digital Specifications and Measurementsp. 468
Appendix A Sound and Hearingp. 479
Introduction: What is Sound?p. 479
The Decibel (dB)p. 489
Frequency, Loudness, and Equal Loudness Contoursp. 492
The Dynamic Nature of Musicp. 494
Localizationp. 495
Other Psychoacoustic Phenomenap. 496
Appendix B Audio and Electronics Basicsp. 499
Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Powerp. 499
Alternating Current (AC)p. 505
Electromagnetic Induction, Inductance, and Capacitancep. 506
Impedancep. 511
Anatomy of an Audio Productp. 515
Digital Electronicsp. 527
Appendix C Digital Audio Basicsp. 529
Introductionp. 529
Binary Number Systemp. 530
Sampling and Quantizationp. 532
Digital Audio Storagep. 540
Digital-to-Analog Conversionp. 543
Jitter Explainedp. 543
Digital Signal Processing (DSP)p. 547
Perceptual Codingp. 548
Appendix D The Role of Critical Listening in Evaluating Audio Equipment Qualityp. 551
Glossaryp. 579
Indexp. 605
Forewordp. xvi
Prefacep. xviii
About the Authorp. xx
Acknowledgmentsp. xxi
1 What is High-End Audio?p. 1
2 Choosing a High-End Audio Systemp. 7
Introductionp. 7
Setting Your Budgetp. 9
The Complete vs. the Incremental Purchasep. 10
Choosing the System Best Suited to Your Needsp. 12
Allocating Your Budget to Specific Componentsp. 14
Upgrading a Single Componentp. 18
How to Read Magazine Reviewsp. 19
System Matchingp. 23
Do's and Don'ts of Selecting Componentsp. 24
Your Relationship with the Retailerp. 26
Used Equipmentp. 29
Product Upgradesp. 30
Setting Up Your System for the Best Soundp. 30
Component Selection Summaryp. 32
3 Becoming a Better Listenerp. 33
Audiophile Valuesp. 36
Pitfalls of Becoming a Critical Listenerp. 39
Sonic Descriptions and their Meaningsp. 40
Critical Listening Setup Proceduresp. 63
Recommended Recordingsp. 66
Single-Presentation Listening--What It's All Aboutp. 69
Critical Listening Summaryp. 70
Level Matchingp. 71
4 How to Get the Best Sound from Your Roomp. 73
Introductionp. 73
Loudspeaker Placementp. 74
Common Room Problems and How to Treat Themp. 92
Acoustical Do's and Don'tsp. 104
A Short Course in Acoustical Theoryp. 105
Building a Listening Room from Scratchp. 118
DSP Room Correctionp. 123
A Survey of Acoustical Treatmentsp. 127
5 Preamplifiersp. 131
Introductionp. 131
How to Choose a Preamplifierp. 133
What to Listen Forp. 136
Tubes vs. Transistorsp. 139
The Line-Stage Preamplifierp. 142
The Phono-Stage Preamplifierp. 143
The Digital Preamplifierp. 147
Audio/Video Controllers and Multichannel Preamplifierp. 148
Passive Level Controls: Are They Right for Your System?p. 149
How a Preamplifier Worksp. 150
6 Power and Integrated Amplifiersp. 155
Introductionp. 155
How to Choose a Power Amplifierp. 156
Other Power-Amplifier Considerationsp. 167
What to Listen Forp. 171
A Survey of Amplifier Typesp. 174
How a Power Amplifier Worksp. 181
7 Loudspeakersp. 193
Introductionp. 193
How to Choose a Loudspeakerp. 194
What to Listen Forp. 199
Loudspeaker Types and How They Workp. 201
The Dipolar Radiation Patterns of Ribbons and Electrostaticsp. 215
Loudspeaker Enclosuresp. 216
Powered and Servo-Driven Woofersp. 226
Enclosure Resonancesp. 228
Crossoversp. 232
Digital Loudspeakersp. 236
Subwoofersp. 239
Loudspeaker Standsp. 243
8 Digital Source Componentsp. 245
Introductionp. 245
How to Choose a Digital Sourcep. 247
What to Listen Forp. 248
State-of-the-Art CD Playback: Dedicated CD Players and Separate Transports and Processorsp. 252
Why 44.1kHz Sampling and 16-bit Quantization Aren't Enoughp. 255
High-Resolution Digital Audio: SACD and DVD-Audiop. 258
Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD)p. 261
DVD-Audiop. 267
Universal Playersp. 271
Digital-Audio Serversp. 274
Upsamplingp. 275
The Digital Transportp. 277
The Digital Processorp. 280
Balanced Outputs: Why They're Not All Created Equalp. 282
The S/PDIF Digital Interfacep. 285
High Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD)p. 293
Digital Recording Formats: CD Recordable, MiniDisc, and MP3p. 296
How a Digital Processor Worksp. 299
How a CD Transport Worksp. 307
How the S/PDIF Interface Worksp. 311
9 Turntables, Tonearms, and Cartridges: The LP Playback Systemp. 313
Introductionp. 313
System Hierarchy: Why the LP Front End Is So Importantp. 314
How to Choose an LP Playback Systemp. 315
What to Listen Forp. 317
Technical Aspects of Choosing an LP Front Endp. 320
The Turntablep. 322
The Tonearmp. 331
The Phono Cartridgep. 334
LP Playback System Setupp. 339
10 FM Tuners and Digital Audio Radiop. 343
Introductionp. 343
How to Choose a Tunerp. 344
What to Listen Forp. 347
Tuner Specifications and Measurementsp. 348
Digital Audio Radio Service: XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radiop. 350
Radio Data System (RDS)p. 352
11 Cables and Interconnectsp. 353
Introductionp. 353
How to Choose Cables and Interconnectsp. 355
How Much Should You Spend on Cables and Interconnects?p. 357
What to Listen Forp. 358
Binding Posts and Cable Terminationsp. 360
Bi-Wired Loudspeaker Cablesp. 361
Balanced and Unbalanced Linesp. 363
Digital Interconnectsp. 367
Cable and Interconnect Constructionp. 367
Terminated Cables and Interconnectsp. 371
Battery Bias in Cables and Interconnectsp. 372
Cable and Interconnect Specificationsp. 373
Cables in the Power Amplifier/Loudspeaker Interfacep. 374
Getting the Best Sound from Cables and Interconnectsp. 375
12 High-End Audio Accessoriesp. 377
How to Choose Accessoriesp. 377
Stands and Racksp. 378
Accessories to Isolate and Control Vibration: Spikes, Feet, and Conesp. 380
AC Power Conditionersp. 382
CD Treatmentsp. 386
Portable Audiop. 387
Binaural Recordingsp. 389
Cassette Decksp. 390
Other Accessoriesp. 393
Voodoo Accessories and the Lunatic Fringep. 398
13 Audio for Home Theaterp. 399
Introductionp. 399
Overview of Home-Theater Systemsp. 401
Home-Theater Controllersp. 404
Multichannel Power Amplifiersp. 413
Loudspeakers for Home Theaterp. 415
Setting up a Home Theaterp. 421
Adding Home Theater without Compromising Music Performancep. 428
14 Multichannel Audiop. 431
Introductionp. 431
A Short History of Multichannel Audiop. 431
Do We Want Multichannel Music Playback?p. 434
How to Get Multichannel Audio in Your Homep. 440
Multichannel Playback from 2-Channel Sourcesp. 445
Ambisonicsp. 447
15 Specifications and Measurementsp. 451
Preamplifier Specifications and Measurementsp. 451
Power Amplifier Specifications and Measurementsp. 456
Loudspeaker Specifications and Measurementsp. 460
Digital Specifications and Measurementsp. 468
Appendix A Sound and Hearingp. 479
Introduction: What is Sound?p. 479
The Decibel (dB)p. 489
Frequency, Loudness, and Equal Loudness Contoursp. 492
The Dynamic Nature of Musicp. 494
Localizationp. 495
Other Psychoacoustic Phenomenap. 496
Appendix B Audio and Electronics Basicsp. 499
Voltage, Current, Resistance, and Powerp. 499
Alternating Current (AC)p. 505
Electromagnetic Induction, Inductance, and Capacitancep. 506
Impedancep. 511
Anatomy of an Audio Productp. 515
Digital Electronicsp. 527
Appendix C Digital Audio Basicsp. 529
Introductionp. 529
Binary Number Systemp. 530
Sampling and Quantizationp. 532
Digital Audio Storagep. 540
Digital-to-Analog Conversionp. 543
Jitter Explainedp. 543
Digital Signal Processing (DSP)p. 547
Perceptual Codingp. 548
Appendix D The Role of Critical Listening in Evaluating Audio Equipment Qualityp. 551
Glossaryp. 579
Indexp. 605

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