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Audio For Dummies ™
Topic: The idiotism of Audio Synergy

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-28-2008
I constantly disgusted and appalled with the audio idiot’s invention of the concept of Synergy in audio. The concept was not invented by audio media and reviewers but was (and is) a tool audio resellers use in order to dupe the gullible but generally ignorant and undemanding audio consumers.  The more reseller is idiot the more she or he stresses the “needs of synergy” between audio elements. Well, perhaps they are not idiot as it helps to the sale personal to conduct business, literally:  found simpletons and take their money to pay own mortgages. However, it is audio site and from a perspective of advanced audio and music reproduction techniques the injection of Synergy concept into audio thinking  had no less sinister and idiotic justification then the  injection Catholic priest’s celibacy in Christianity .

In my past, when I came across the fools who use “synergy” in playback design I asked them “unconfined question” that pissed them off – and I like to see the pissed fools. However, the last few years I completely changed my attitude and if I experience a person who even use word “synergy” in audio then I imidetaly send the person to hell and all further conversation are terminally over. I would advise you to do the same. The admittance or even verbal use of “audio Synergy” is a self-evident testimony of a person. It should send instant signal for you that you deal ether with a very ignorant person or with very moronic person or juts with a plain idiot. In all cases - beware.

Rgs, Romy the Cat

Posted by Paul S on 01-28-2008
OK, not to use "that word"; it is obviously an inverted and self-limiting concept as you tab it, and it is an easy, slippery slope to slide down.

So how does one {mentally/verbally] approach situations where certain otherwise-"acceptable" components are simply incompatible with one another?  As an example, I cite the wood bodied Grado cartridges and the Rega tonearms; or, for that matter, typical 12g arms with the Shelter 901.  Also, you have mentioned that your TL-0 CD transport is "too much" for most systems; and we "all" know better than to pair a 45 SET amp to a big FR speaker system.  Anyway, cases like these just seem to leave a conceptual hole where the "opposite" has wormed its way in, first as "background" , then as the flip side of the [common] coin.

Of course your notion of "synergy" as a magic solution to bad sound is anethema to this site, and I for one do not find it necessary to use the term at all, really.

But surely it is well to discuss "compatibility" and other issues commonly confused into the fog of "synergy".

Best regards,
Paul S

Posted by cv on 01-28-2008
Couldn't agree more about the b/s around this concept. A pal of mine agreed, and put it very succcinctly: He just said, "Aye - variances add".

Posted by JJ Triode on 01-28-2008
"Synergy" as a BS concept is not about technical compatibility, such as getting a tonearm resonance below 12 Hz or getting proper speaker sensitivity and impedance for a given amplifier. It is about the bogus notion of choosing colored components such as to try to make the colorations cancel. Even if it could be restricted to the linear frequency response, it should be obvious that it will almost never work except at a few specific frequencies, with the rest of the range getting more messed up. It gets worse when various kinds of distortion are a factor, since then the errors become completely additive rather than subtractive.

The most we can ask of an audio element in relation to other elements is that it should allow them to sound as good as they are able to sound. My first serious audio "guru" summed it up with an old but true expression: two wrongs don't make a right.

Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-28-2008

Paul, it is unquestionable that there are specific properties that set specific compatibility between audio elements but what is important to understand is that word “synergy” was specifically invented in audio by sales personal in order do not recognize the absolutely objective and reasonable contributive factors but substitute them with a BS-concept of “synergy”.

There is a balance between effective mass of tonearm and compliance of cartridge. It is not “synergy” but well-understood and well-manageable characteristics.  There is out impedance/capacitance of driver stage and there is impedance of load – they are well defied characteristics and they are not “synergy”. There is a stability of the amplifier feedback and electrical characteristics of driving cable/load. They are also the definable characteristics but not any “synergy”. When we talk about sensitivity of acoustic system, gain of amplification stage and noise level of active components then we deal with realty of the things not with “synergy”. I can go on and on…

Do you know when we deal with “synergy”? When you have severely clipped power lines with 10% of distortion and an idiot-sale-person offer you to buy a better power cords then we deal with nothing less then the “power cord’s synergy”? When a company have already sold many products and then want their loyal customers to repay for their product then the company release a “new” face up model and the inject into hi-fi jargon and rumor that the “the newest model has better synergy with”… surprisingly what you have. When you shop for preamp and a dealer suggests you change your power amplifier to the one that would have better “synergy” with the line that he happened to care then here is where the “synergy” shows off itself in its all sine. I can go on as well but what is the point.?

The specific compatibility is always specific and has well defined arguments and facts. Synergy is a BS facade of ignorance, incompetence and desire to escape liability. Variances? Of course! Conditions? Of course! Even the circumstances of perception? Of course! However all of them have reason, even not completely know or understood. Synergy however has no reason, no rationale but it has a justification but conclusions, even farther it eliminates a need to ask yourself any justification.

I do not like Synergy and I audio-do-not-like people who have needs to use synergy in audio.

The Cat

Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-28-2008

 JJ Triode wrote:
It is about the bogus notion of choosing colored components such as to try to make the colorations cancel.

A correction would need to be offer. It is not “cancel” but to mask out and only in context of ignorant listener. An evolved listener should be able to recognize (there are always signs) that behind the pretense of thick make up there is a dilapidating dead body of nothingness. It is like drinking a water from swamp – you can “cure” it a lot of Clorox but it would not make the drinkable wares as “fresh water”.

The caT

Posted by JJ Triode on 01-28-2008
Certainly the synergy users can only, at best, mask one coloration with another, but in the minds of their audience they encourage a belief that the errors somehow get cancelled; that is the "notion" I referred to.

These notions extend into the domain of "tweaks" and in fact get much worse there. Try any silver-grease contact "enhancer" and you will see how destructive to musical values it can get. By this standard, the tweaks that do absolutely nothing are among the "better" ones.

Posted by clarkjohnsen on 01-29-2008
What's all the fuss about?


Posted by Romy the Cat on 01-29-2008

The fuss is that quite many people juts hearing the word "synergy" in audio can clearly identify an idiocy of the individual who expressed it. Therefore the word "synergy" in audio is not a semantic constrict about rather a medical diagnoses.  Ok, let me a give you an illustration that you might chew upon: “ Try Paul Badura-Skoda has a good synergy with Beethoven’s sonatas and  James Levine has a good synergy with his baton…” What does it say besides saying nothing?

The caT

Posted by clarkjohnsen on 01-29-2008

That's why I never use it.

But it's still just a word.


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