Stereo system evaluation
People are eager to believe that their stereo system is perfect, and asking friends for an evaluation doesn’t necessarily elicit an unbiased opinion — nor does asking competitors.
Sometimes you must find the flaws in your own system. If you listen to it in solitude, with a critical intent, you may find that the sound is surprisingly unnatural.
Mr. Imai, the creator of Audio Tekne, recalls a related experience: “I once lent a speaker cable that was producing a natural sound to several people. Although it was flawless — it did not change sound texture and caused minimal signal loss — most people who borrowed it stated that it created very poor sound.” The reality was that rather than altering sound, the cable’s exceptionally good quality exposed the flaws of all preceding equipment and accessories (amplifier, cables, CD deck, record player, etc.).
Improving sound, making it right, begins with devices in the beginning of the audio chain.
A speaker system with equipment of a particular character can sometimes play unnatural sound even for a while after switching out an amplifier. Remember that a proper evaluation of sound quality cannot be hurried and requires time.