High-Fidelity Audio -- A Complete Guide

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Introduction

1 What is High-End Audio

2 Getting Started—Defining Your System

3 How to Choose an Audio System:

    • Defining Your Needs
    • Setting Your Budget
    • The Complete vs. the Incremental Purchase
      • Value vs. Luxury Components
    • Allocating Your Budget to Specific Components
    • Upgrading a Single Component
    • How to Read Magazine Reviews
    • System Matching
    • Do’s and Don’ts of Selecting Components
    • Your Relationship with the Retailer
    • Used Equipment
    • Product Upgrades

4 How to Become a Better Listener:

    • Listening vs. Measurement
    • Introduction to Critical Listening
      • Audiophile Values
      • Pitfalls of Becoming a Critical Listener
    • Sonic Descriptions and their Meanings
      • Tonal Balance
      • Overall Perspective
      • The Treble
      • The Midrange
      • The Bass
      • Soundstaging
      • Dynamics
      • Detail
      • Musicality

5 Digital Source Components:

  • Compact Disc
  • High-End CD Playback: Dedicated CD Players and Separate Transports and Processors
  • High-Definition Compatible Digital (HDCD)
  • Digital Connections
  • High-Resolution Digital Audio: SACD and DVD-Audio
  • SACD
  • DVD-Audio
  • DualDisc
  • Universal Disc Players
  • Multichannel Output on High-Resolution Players
  • Bass Management in SACD and DVD-A Players
  • The Future of High-Resolution Digital Audio
  • Music Servers
  • Computer-Based Digital Audio and File Formats
  • How to Choose a Digital Source
  • What to Listen For

6 Turntables, Tonearms, and Cartridges:

  • The Turntable
  • The Base and Plinth
  • Sprung and Unsprung Turntables
  • The Platter and Bearing Assembly
  • Platter Mats and Record Clamps
  • The Drive System
  • The Tonearm
  • The Phono Cartridge
  • Moving-Magnet and Moving-Coil Cartridges
  • The S and Cantilever
  • How to Choose an LP Playback System
  • What to Listen For

7 Preamplifiers:

  • Types of Preamplifiers
  • How to Choose a Preamplifier
  • Tubes vs. Transistors
  • Balanced and unbalanced connections
  • Audio/Video Controllers
  • Multichannel Preamplifiers
  • Phono Preamplifiers
  • RIAA Equalization
  • Phono-Stage Gain
  • Cartridge Loading
  • What to Listen For

8 Power and Integrated Amplifiers:

  • A Survey of Amplifier Types
  • Mono-block, Stereo, Three-Channel and Multichannel
  • Amplifiers
  • Integrated Amplifiers
  • Tubed Power Amplifiers
  • Single-Ended Triode Amplifier
  • Single-Ended Solid-State Amplifier
  • Friday, 2016-05-13 19:20 e a Power Amplifier
  • Output-Power Spec Read the Fine Print
  • Why Two “100W” Amplifiers Can Have Different Output Powers
  • Other Power-Amplifier Considerations
  • Balanced Inputs
  • Bridging
  • What to Listen For

9 Loudspeakers:

  • How to Choose a Loudspeaker
  • Other Guidelines in Choosing Loudspeakers
  • Finding the Right Loudspeaker—Before You Buy
  • What to Listen For
  • Loudspeakers for Home Theater
  • Loudspeaker Types and How They Work
  • The Dynamic Driver
  • The Planar-Magnetic Transducer
  • The Electrostatic Driver
  • The Dipolar Radiation Patterns of Ribbons and Electrostatics
  • Horn Loudspeakers
  • Loudspeaker Enclosures
  • Enclosure Shapes
  • Air-Suspension and Bass-Reflex Enclosures
  • Passive Radiators
  • Powered and Servo-Driven Woofers
  • Crossovers
  • Digital Loudspeakers
  • Subwoofers

10 Audio for Home Theater and Multichannel Music:

  • Overview—Surround Sound
  • Should You Choose a 5.1-Channel or a 7.1-Channel System
  • Overview—Audio/Video Receivers, Controllers, and Amplifiers
  • Overview—Home-Theater Loudspeakers
  • A/V Receivers
  • How to Choose a Receiver
  • Inputs, Outputs, and Source Switching
  • Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Surround-Decoding Formats
  • 6-ChannelAnalog Input
  • Analog-Bypass Mode
  • Automatic Calibration
  • 7.1-Channel Playback from 5.1-Channel Sources
  • Multi-Room and Multi-Zone
  • Power Output in AVRs
  • Satellite Radio: XM and Sirius
  • FM Tuner Performance
  • THX Cert of AVRs and Controllers
  • Multichannel Power Amplifiers
  • How to Choose a Home-Theater Power Amplifier
  • Loudspeakers for Home Theater
  • The Center-Channel Speaker
  • Adding a Center Speaker to Your System
  • Left and Right Speakers
  • Surround Speakers
  • Dipolar and Bipolar Surround Speakers
  • Surround-Back Speakers for 7.1-Channel Sources
  • Subwoofers
  • Setting up a Home Theater
  • Basic Setup
  • Acoustical Treatment
  • Speaker Placement
  • Surround-Speaker Placement
  • Surround-Back Speaker Placement for 7.1-Channel Sources
  • Center-Speaker Placement
  • Left and Right Speaker Placement
  • Subwoofer Placement and Connection
  • Calibrating a Home Theater
  • Bass Management
  • Setting Individual Channel Levels
  • Adding Home Theater Without Compromising Music Performance
  • Addendum: Surround-Sound Formats

11 Cables, Racks, and AC Conditioners

  • How to Choose Cables and Interconnects
  • How Much Should You Spend on Cables and Interconnects?
  • What to Listen For
  • Binding Posts and Cable Terminations
  • Bi-Wired Loudspeaker Cables
  • Interconnects: Balanced and Unbalanced
  • Cable and Interconnect Construction
  • Equipment Racks
  • AC Power Conditioners

12 How to Get the Best Sound From Your System

  • Room Layout
  • Loudspeaker Placement
  • Dipolar and Bipolar Loudspeaker Placement
  • Subwoofer Placement and Setup
  • Multi channel Loudspeaker Placement
  • Loudspeaker Placement Summary
  • Optimizing Your Listening Room
  • Common Room Problems and How to Treat Them
  • Acoustical Do’s and Don’ts
  • Digital Room Correction
  • Accessories and Cable Dressing

Glossary

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Updated: Friday, 2016-05-13 19:20 PST