Questions about Resolving Systems

I know this will be subjective but what makes a resolving system?

Does it mean it has great detail?

How do you know if you have a resolving system?

Is that only for system that employ high end components?

I am just trying to get a better understanding.



I do not see it as "subjective." There may be a family of adjectives involved and not everyone agrees about what are the most important. That said, one might consider the following:

Instruments positions are spread out and in definite locations.
(Opposite: they come from everywhere or are only vaguely "right" or "left", etc.)

Instruments sound like themselves -- an oboe sounds like an oboe and not a clarinet, etc. Moreover, they sound like particular, individual instruments.

Small details in the mix can be heard because of the separation and, as mentioned, the low noise floor. Test you can try: compare a complex track on two systems; the one that contains "more" in it is the more resolving one.

None of that is subjective. It is clearly perceptible. And perception is an objective fact in the world.


Does your soundstage have width, depth and height?

Can you hear the difference between a grand piano and upright piano?

Can you clearly hear all the words to a song the singer is singing?

Can you clearly hear the background singers?

Can you clearly distinguish the individual voices when more than one singer is singing lead?

Can you clearly hear the percussion instruments, such as Suspended Cymbals, Finger Cymbals and such?

When the drummer kicks the kick drum do you almost jump out of your seat?

Does your system make you happy?

These are some of the things I strive for in my system.

The ultimate test would be can you clearly hear all the words to “Louie Louie” by the Kingsmen?

Joe Nies

Its hard to know till you heard it a few times.  Heard the noise, then heard the system without the noise.  Once its gone its sort of an owe wow, I never knew it was so bad.  Go to a friend house with a good filter.  Have him play with and without.  That will get you part of the way to understanding. Of course, some filters may add some ?????  But its the general idea.  Borrow a filter and put it in your system. 

I don’t know the answer, but the first thing I thought of when reading your post was the album Friday Night in San Francisco. Now, that isn’t responsive to your question, but the reason that I thought of this album was that when I first heard this record on my system, my jaw dropped due to what I thought of as amazing resolution. I haven’t a clue how my system “resolves” compared to any other, but I do know that my cartridge is up to the task and perhaps from the arm to the speakers .. less so. Anyway, a great album.

jay73 - To answer you last question first i.e.

Is that only for system that employ high end components?

Tha answer is no - you do not have to have high end components - but you will need some pretty darn good cables

My modest System MSRP around $20k Canadian...

  • Bryston B135 integrated amp
  • Bluesound Node 2
  • Simmaudio Moon Phono Stage
  • DIY turntable with Audio mods Arm and Denon 103 Soindsmith modified cartridge
  • Gershman Acoustince Sonogram speakers

This is by no means what I consider a high end system, but it sounds better than most $100k+++ systems I have auditioned in some very good audio stores

My very affordable $300 mini system also sounds pretty amazing with the cables I have installed

Good cables are key to,,,

  • improving dynamics to realistic levels
  • improvinf clarity and details - those little micro details of the venue acoustics and reverberations
  • lowering the noise floor
  • achieving a realistic holographic 3D image

Is is pretty easy to achieve once the cables are sorted

Take a read of this link

What Makes a good cable

If you are just starting out take a look at Audio Envy cables - great value and very good performance.

I made my own Helix cables, which are extremely good

Helix Cables - what other members think

How to build them

Regards - Steve