Denoting a subject of study; a branch of knowledge
To describe, educate and clarify, using diagrams and text, the technical specifications and terminology relating to the subject of Hifi.
Welcome to Hifiology - The Listening Suite
When I was younger my main reason for purchasing a hifi was to listen to my music collection at an improved level of performance compared to at the time my inexpensive record player with built in speaker.
I always remember the excitement of listening to my Uncles stereo hifi system, recordings that I’d listened to for years through that tiny built in mono speaker now revealed an increased clarity and detail that I’d never thought possible.
A door had opened to a world of musicality and emotion that eventually led to a career in professional audio recording and live performance.
Choosing Hifi components can be bewildering and confusing, there’s just so much to choose from.
I remember the bewilderment and confusion trying to choose the Hifi components that would eventually become my first hifi system.
The technical specifications and terminology where overwhelming and at times difficult to understand.
The most important thing I learned is that the components are all interrelated and based upon their individual performance either add or subtract to the overall musical performance of a system.
These articles are to help provide a clearer understanding and appreciation of the various Hifi components, which when combined, create a Hifi system.
I hope you enjoy.
The Listening Suite
Music Players + Hifi System Components
Record Player, Record Deck, Turntable
The Platter (Main Platter or Sub Platter)
Heavy or Light Platter on Heavy or Light Chassis
Suspended or Rigid Chassis Design
Platter Bearing, Platter Mats, Record Clamp or Weight, Outer Ring Clamps
Belt, Belt Drive / Direct Drive, Plinth Mounted Motor / Outboard Motor, The Plinth
Where to Place Your Turntable
The Stylus - Shapes, Types
Why are some Styli & Cartridges more expensive than others ?
Shapes & Types, Conical / Spherical, Elliptical / Hyperelliptical Bi or Dual Radial
Advanced Stylus Shapes, Line Contact, Fine Line, Micro-Line, Micro-Ridge, Shibata, Stereohedron
Reasons for Investing and Upgrading your Cartridge and Stylus
The Vinyl Groove, The Cutting Engineer, RIAA Equalisation Curve
The Stylus - Needle in the Groove
Stylus alignment settings Zenith, Azimuth, SRA / VTA, VTF, Antiskating / Bias
The Cartridge - Moving Magnet or Coil
How a cartridge operates
The Moving Magnet & Moving Coil Cartridge
Moving Magnet & Moving Coil Designs
There are three types of Moving Coil Cartridges, Low, Medium, High output
The Cartridge - The Assembly
An electromagnetic generator otherwise known as a cartridge, can be divided into 4 separate sections.
(1) Physical - Cartridge Body, Cartridge Weight
(2) Mechanical - Stylus Type, Stylus Radius, Cantilever Material, Tracking Force, Tracking Ability, Compliance
(3) Electrical - Cartridge Type, Cartridge Output Voltage, Cartridge Output Impedance,
Phono Stage Load Impedance / Resistance and Capacitance
(4) Audio - Frequency Response, Channel Balance, Channel Separation
The Tonearm - Shapes & Sizes
(1) The cartridge mounting point or head shell position.
(2) The arm or wand.
(3) Tonearm Bearing or Unipivot point.
(4) Counter weight.
Tonearm Designs: 9” 10” 12” I, J or S type
Tonearm Bearing Designs, Parallel, Gimbal - Ball, Knife and Jewelled, UniPivot, Magnetic
The Tonearm - Geometry & terms
Cartridge & Stylus Alignment, Tangential or Zero Tracking Error, Geometrical Arcs
Löfgren A/B - Baerwald - Stevenson Inner & Outer Null Points
Pivot to Spindle Distance, Effective Length, Overhang
Zenith Offset Angle, Linear Offset, Inner & Outer Groove Radius
The Vinyl Groove, The Cutting Engineer and the RIAA Pre-Emphasis Equalisation Curve
The Equaliser Section and the RIAA De-Emphasis Playback Equalisation Curve
Line Amplifier Section and Electrical Specifications
Input Settings for a Moving Magnet & Moving Coil Cartridge,
Impedance / Resistance, Capacitance & Gain Settings, Adjusting The Settings
Room Acoustics and how they effect your choice of settings
Low and Medium Output Moving Coil Cartridges & Step-Up Transformers
Why use a Step-Up Transformer