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.



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



A high resolving system starts with a fully acoustically treated room. It is so much more important than the choice of audio equipment imo. Decent equipment in a fully acoustically treated room will likely always sound better than great equipment in a non treated room. 

It is a bit ambiguous, but visits to high end audio stores can zero one in on what it means.

However, it can be a very negative thing. There are components and systems designed to be high resolution that scrape details from the media and communicate every tiny detail … this can be a CD player, DAC, tt cartridge or even preamp / amp. Put these together and they can end up increasing the noise floor, increasing distortion and stripping the musical content… the emotional connection. I have hear so many terrible sounding “high resolution systems” I have lost track.

Often with these systems, the over emphasis details and subtle cues about the venue and spatial dynamics come at the expense of rhythm and pace (a large part of the the emotional connection one gets with the music) and midrange bloom. So, a system can fascinate one with hearing the conductor moving his foot or the sonic reflections of the orchestra hall and completely miss drawing you into the music. Sterile and analytical are frequently used to help describe these systems


Over time these system fail to engage the user for more than a short time. Lots of us old guys who have been pursuing the high end for decades ended up with high resolving soulless systems and re-evaluated what we were doing and heading back to musical systems, often ending up with all tube systems that are musical first. They have the details and bass, but they are in proper proportion to the musical attributes. These systems are tremendously engaging. After three hours of listening each day.. it is really hard to rear myself away.