Is a Frankenstein Stereo OK?

April 7, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

10 comments on “Is a Frankenstein Stereo OK?”

  1. What is PS Audio’s definition of “synergy”? The consultants of our company always defined synergy as: 1 + 1 = 3. 😉 That’s obviously consultancy intelligence. But if every link in the stereo chain shows major or minor deficiencies and the room acoustic is the most important factor isn’t it all about combining the links with the smallest deficiencies and make some compensations using a digital equalizer? I guess most music lovers rather chose a loudspeaker which best matches the furniture design of the living room and the free space available thus achieving synergy. 😉

  2. Thanks Paul – great explanation! I’m considering buying your sprout system. I’m curious how much trial and error went into choosing the Elac speakers for Spout synergy? Ironically, I have some B&W bookshelf speakers that might sound good with the Sprout (to my ears) but maybe the Elacs are the better compliment. Of course it comes down to personal preference but it would be interesting to know the back story of this PS Audio pairing.

    1. I’ve long been a fan of Andrew Jone’s work at Elac and elsewhere. When it came time to pair Sprout with a speaker that made economic sense, there really weren’t that many choices I would have agreed to, nor would have my son, Scott who is the designer of Sprout. Yes, we tried a few other brands that I would prefer not to name in this post, but Elac and Andrew’s work always shined.

      1. Thanks Paul I love my sprout 100 and Elac combination. I also added a HSU VTF-2 MK5 subwoofer. It seemed to have a hole between the Elac upper bass and the subwoofer’s lower bass for a while until I did some tuning of the Q of the subwoofer which by the way is very versatile. That seemed to alleviate most of the issue. The only gripe I have is a bad transient spike to the subwoofer when I turn off the sprout.

  3. Back when most CD players were Magnavox/Phillips or Sony we audiophiles entering the CD revolution had no choice of having a Frankenstein system until the mods came in and those were also based on the Phillips or Sony platforms. I never considered Sony or Magnavox true HiFi but they made good CD players especially the Phillips made in Belgium. Receivers and integrated amplifiers were very popular so synergy was built into them. Many of the best speaker manufacturers didn’t make electronic stereo components and those who did usually didnt have the best sounding speaker’s with the exception of few. As a rule a corporation that specialized in amplifiers or other stereo components put all of there time and energy into those components and they usually sounded better because of that. The same with speakers. Some of the mass market all in one stereo systems you would find at JC Penny or Sears for 300.00 were terrible. Of course that was all in one at its worse and I won’t name brands. But times have changed and HiFi electronic companies are putting out some good all in one systems iincluding speakers but rest assured those are nothing like the 300.00 or 199.99 all in one systems of the past. You will pay for that quality. Some of todays budget speakers sound remarkably good for the money though. Also I’m not so sure that synergy matters so much when it comes to speakers. Great speakers should sound great in almost any system worth it’s salt.

    1. All due respect to Sony and Magnavox but companies that make TVs microwave ovens and every electronic component under the Sun cannot be serious contenders in the audiophile HiFi industry except for CD players and their mods. Some of their vintage CD players sound better than most of the newer stuff they are putting out.

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