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.



Of course the sound quality of a stereo system is proportional to the cost of the components.  But is is much more complicated than that.  Factors outside of the speakers, the amp, preamp and source have as much or more impact on the sound than the components.  The room, the floor, and the ambient noise level affect how we perceive the sound.  Electrical noise, EMI and RFI affect the performance of the stereo gear.  Just moving my bass traps around in the room affects the mid bass clarity.

The economics of stereo gear, just like about all products mass produced, is that for every $1 of material cost the selling price will be about $3.50- $4,00.  Once labor, overhead, taxes, insurance, R&D, admin, etc and then the distributor and final sales outlets get their cut that is roughly the cost to purchase.  So you see, we beat up a speaker manufacturer for using cheap capacitors but the reality is if they were to use say $400 worth of caps in their cross overs vs. $50 in caps, the selling price would end up being some $1400 higher which might price their speaker out of the market.  So the savvy audiophile can buy the $400 set of caps and upgrade their speakers saving $1000. 

Like it or not you pay $60k or more for a new car knowing that it has about $15k worth of parts in it.  Thing is, most of us would not know what to do with a pile of auto-parts, sheet metal and 7 gallons of paint.  And while the automaker pays $50 for a fuel pump module (they buy millions of units per year) the dealer will charge you over $500 for the same part.  Maybe you can get a similar unit at the discount parts store for $250.  Point is, you cannot cost effectively build your own car.  The same goes for a stereo system.  

Do everything you can to your room- seek professional help if need be (for the acoustics, I mean) and then do what you can to enhance the performance of your stereo components by using better power cords, power conditioners, cables, isolation and dampening devices.  And then the hard core audiophiles go into their speakers, amps, preamps and sources and replace internal components such as caps, wiring and resistors for even more enhancements.  This hobby really has no end and infinite permutations.  

Still, it’s cool to see these million dollars systems and admire the art of it.  They may or may not sound like a million dollars but I’ll never know.

excellent thread and some excellent observations and comments

if this board had a 'stickies' function, this is one that would deserve it, so noobs can learn what it is we are shooting for with all this crazy stuff

Wow, just came back to the question that I posed yesterday.

Thanks for all the feedback, I will need to take some time to to review all this.

the answer is, It’s different for different people.  I really good friend of mine (best man at my wedding) has a receiver and speakers from the 80’s. Nothing has been updated or changed in any way.  In fact it’s been in his living room for 30 years and he’s as happy a clam.  Me, I’ve been slowly upgrading my system and when I retired, I started building a totally new system.  When he say the speakers, he told me I was nuts for spending “that kind of money “!

To each their own.

the answer is, It’s different for different people....To each their own.

There's no overlap? Nothing to share, then? It's all so subjective that there are no common rules of thumb? We wouldn't have a hobby or be able to have a disagreement if that was true. 

The underlying message of "to each his own" is -- why bother? That's an escape hatch to having the conversation, but it's not an answer to the conversation. We are far more similar than we think.