Glorious High Fidelity

dave's picture

About a month ago I bought a pair of speakers (epos ELS3) and stands second hand via the ubber-useful .  I got them for HKD 1200 and new they would've been HKD 3000 plus.  

I really liked them when I first got them, they're really my style: neutral. Don't try and "enhance" the music, chances are what you think is an "enhancement" isn't going to work for me.  If you mr. speaker can't produce bass at 60Hz don't try and make up for it by giving me more 120Hz, you're just making everything mushy.  Just give it to me straight up please.  

But recently I've been having this impression that they have been less than what they were when I first got them.  It seemed like an overall degradation that I couldn't quite pin down.  Was it that I was just becoming used to them?  Perhaps all those months of listening to 1" iPod speakers while in India made anything bigger seem wonderful.  Perhaps I was loosing my golden ear?  Perhaps was Debbi having solo dance sessions while I was out of the house and cranked the tunes till something got a bit worn?  

Alas no, it was simply an impedance problem.  I've got a line running from the audio output on the rear of my computer to a small amplifier to the speakers.  On the front of my computer I also plug in a headset for using Skype.  The problem being that there's only one line amp in the computer that powers both the front and rear jacks.  So when the headset is plugged in the impedance is halved (oh crap, or is it doubled, I'm shaming my 1 year of electronics engineering technology training).  The amp for the speakers is expecting standard line-level impedance and doesn't do well with anything but.  Pull out the headset and the volume jumps by 3dB and we return to glorious high fidelity.  

  • It sounds cool! I'm sure I don't understand it, but it seems cool!

  • Now that you've got the sound returned to optimum quality you can resume playing the Beatles. Awesome.