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Old 2nd January 2010, 01:46 AM   #21
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gootee View Post

The only true general statement that I can think of that might indulge that type of idea is that the sound produced by tubes might be different, in general, from that produced by semiconductors, because tubes tend to produce even harmonics while semiconductors tend to produce odd harmonics.

Cheers,

Tom
Not true. I used to think so. Having started to play with tubes and be looking at the oputput with a spectrum analyzer, I found in PP proper balance can reduce the even far below the odd harmonics. SE, yes predominantly second. Many other factors are the root of "tube" sound, like improper placement of the grid-stoppers, inadequate power, ringing, oscillation, limited bandwidth, high distortion, and on and on. Not a criticism, I like tubes. Just factors.

The old adage that MOSFET's are smoother is also not true. Owning several of each, my old Rotels are smoother than my Haflers and B&K's.

So it comes down to this: I completely agree, execution is just as important as the circuit.
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Old 2nd January 2010, 02:20 AM   #22
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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OK, I did say "...TEND to...". <grin>
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Old 2nd January 2010, 02:33 AM   #23
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
Tom: I guess that's the electronic theory, but if you're ears are keen enough there is a slight signature sound with each of the different amp topologies, no matter how close to perfection the amp might be.

Steve.
This doesn't quite address the original assertion, yet, but, I have to disagree that that would be true "no matter how close to perfection the amp might be". If different types and classes of amps were all close-enough to perfection, then obviously no one could tell any difference between them, at all. So, going back to my original assertion, but modifying it just slightly: With a well-enough-designed and well-enough-implemented amplifier, there would be no "sonic signature" that could be correlated on a per-class basis. Period.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 03:47 AM   #24
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Yes, well, I do think that one should double check on the Nonstop Treble Output of class D amplifiers. Personally I don't appreciate suffering days of stuffy ears, no matter how glorious the marketing.

Beyond that, differences between different amplifiers can be mostly nulled with the power circuit, as there is an astonishingly vast difference between a good job and a great job.

Caveat: The optimal power circuit for a given amplifier (with a given transformer) is unique to it and different from any other.
For example, the TDA7294 can really really sing, whilst also producing so little waste heat that the efficiency approaches class D and it can do 130 watts on a single chip (for years, without damage); however, the TDA7294, although durable, isn't actually a very good amp, and, (naturally) the good results that were just mentioned implies extreme effort with the power circuit quality (optimal is nothing like the datasheet), otherwise there is a lot of heat, less power, and a muddy sound. This difference, like most amplifiers, is the power circuit.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 06:45 PM   #25
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What this all comes down to is simple, its what your ears like, period. Some people buy into marketing hipe and esoteric **. What I have seen over and over again is the more perfect the amp the less people like it in the real world, perfect measurements are not perfect reproduction. I have seen many die hard measurement fans pick old single ended tube amps with all there inherent distortion and harmonic components over there perfect measuring solid state amps in blind side by side testing.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 07:42 PM   #26
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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Originally Posted by tiltedhalo View Post
What this all comes down to is simple, its what your ears like, period. Some people buy into marketing hipe and esoteric **. What I have seen over and over again is the more perfect the amp the less people like it in the real world, perfect measurements are not perfect reproduction. I have seen many die hard measurement fans pick old single ended tube amps with all there inherent distortion and harmonic components over there perfect measuring solid state amps in blind side by side testing.
Hi tiltedhalo,

(First, let me say that I don't purport to know "the answer", or the fundamental truth of the matter. That's one reason that I am here.)

I can easily believe what you said about the side-by-side testing.

But in my mind there is something innately wrong with the idea that there is no "absolute truth", or that it's not too important at least, which is what people mean when they say that "whatever sounds good to a person" is "OK" for that person. No. I want to hear the absolute truth, i.e. exactly what the original artists intended for me to hear, no matter how it sounds!

So, what I THINK _I_ want is not "what my ears like" the best, necessarily, but, rather, what sounds the most like the original performance. So I guess that means that I want perfect reproduction, rather than "what my ears like".

I do absolutely know that it is something that _could_ be measured (i.e. "perfect-ness" of reproduction). But maybe no one, or not many, are using good-enough measurements, or using them well-enough, or, good-enough measurements don't exist yet, or are not practical (not to mention good-enough recordings).

Perhaps, even, there are too many variables, and too many "flaws" in the chain (between original performance and reproduction) that it is not possible, and therefore not relevant-enough to worry about so much. But I still want to try, thinking that I should control whatever is possible for me to control, in my parts of the chain, as well as possible.

I don't think that I trust listening tests, very much, for my purposes, unless they consist of switching back and forth between the original live performance and the reproduction. But that's not too practical, I guess!

What might work, somewhat, toward that, would be to compare measurements taken during the original performance to measurements taken during the reproduction (beyond just the recorded signal data itself, of course). But then you also have to worry about the measurement equipment. But that might not be as big of a problem as it seems, for certain types of measurements at least. I think there is no doubt that it could provide some sort of improvement, or improved abilities for us.

So, maybe the recording people could add some sort of "calibration" information to the recordings, to help us to know how different what we are hearing/measuring from the reproduction is, from the original, and also possibly allowing us to make adjustments to bring the reproduction closer to the original.

Sorry to have blathered-on for so long about all of that,

Tom
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Old 3rd January 2010, 10:06 PM   #27
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Blathering is good I think you are missing my point. What is truth in the performance or the recording or the reproduction of the recorded performance? A persons personal taste, that is the only truth. Is an over-modulated 112db recorded bass heavy distorted rap track true reproduction, yes to those who think it is. Take a person with there 1KW car amps huge bass drivers resonating car body parts and put them infront of my Infinity IRS Beta's listening to the Jennifer Warrens Bird On A Wire, they will pick there rap performance and car audio system over mine time and time again, even playing the same material.
Personal tastes, personal preference is the only truth.
Truth in musical reproduction would be the accurate reproduction of anything played with 100% truth, but even then someone will prefer there i pod, you know it just sounds better.

Last edited by tiltedhalo; 3rd January 2010 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 4th January 2010, 06:31 AM   #28
gootee is offline gootee  United States
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Originally Posted by tiltedhalo View Post
Blathering is good I think you are missing my point. What is truth in the performance or the recording or the reproduction of the recorded performance? A persons personal taste, that is the only truth. Is an over-modulated 112db recorded bass heavy distorted rap track true reproduction, yes to those who think it is. Take a person with there 1KW car amps huge bass drivers resonating car body parts and put them infront of my Infinity IRS Beta's listening to the Jennifer Warrens Bird On A Wire, they will pick there rap performance and car audio system over mine time and time again, even playing the same material.
Personal tastes, personal preference is the only truth.
Truth in musical reproduction would be the accurate reproduction of anything played with 100% truth, but even then someone will prefer there i pod, you know it just sounds better.
Hi tiltedhalo,

Thank you for explaining further. I think that I did understand what your point was, before. And, with your additional explanations and examples, I believe that I completely understand your point. And I am sorry but I still think differently.

I take the original performance to axiomatically be "the truth", which the performer intended to convey to us. And I want to hear the truth. I may have never even heard the performer(s) in a live setting and so I believe that I need to hear them reproduced perfectly, because they are, after all, the artists, and I want to experience their artistic works exactly as they intended them to be.

If you have ever stood for a long time in front of a painting that you loved, in the Impressionist museum in Paris, for example, you know that a print of the same painting is simply nowhere near as good, not even close(!), even though it's the same size and the colors are exactly the same. The raised texture of the brush-strokes is missing, and maybe some other even-more-minor details. It's not really a huge distortion. But it makes a very huge difference! And if all I had ever seen was the print, I would never have loved it like I loved the painting, and would never have appreciated the artist nearly as much, and my mind would never have soared to the exalted heights that it did while gazing at the original painting (and I would never even have known what I was missing).

So yes, I believe that there is a huge potential gain from exact reproduction, especially since I also do not presume to know, ahead of time, what my "personal taste" will be, and might tragically miss appreciating and loving something great without an exact reproduction.

As far as those with the "over-modulated 112db recorded bass heavy distorted rap track" and the "1KW car amps huge bass drivers resonating car body parts", I am genuinely happy for them if they like it. But I can still think that they are idiots, at the same time.

They don't have the same goal that I do, of course. But is that just my personal taste versus theirs, with both equally valid? I don't like to think that it is. Not to excuse them, but maybe they just haven't thought as much (or as well) about it. Maybe they are still too young and having too much fun with drugs, alcohol, and women to care, yet. But I would like to believe that they would like their preferred "music" even more if they heard it on a "perfect" system (with loudness to spare, of course, per their taste). [And, if we were lucky, maybe they would then start to learn to dislike it.] It's also possible that they're simply incorrigible idiots.

It's sometimes difficult to open other people's eyes. But that doesn't mean that I should close mine too.

Cheers,

Tom
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Old 4th January 2010, 06:34 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by gootee View Post
. . . No. I want to hear the absolute truth, i.e. exactly what the original artists intended for me to hear, no matter how it sounds!. . .
I have a thought about that.

Its the size of the venue used for replay.

There's at least 12db of random differences. Add in playback level, acoustics, and the ear's never-flat response, and you get more than the full swing of two series equalizers.

Tube amps and some very interesting bridge amps and a few cool entertainment class solid state amps, can pull off tricks in small venues more realistically than amplifiers made for use in larger venues. The requirements are so much different.
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Old 4th January 2010, 06:38 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by gootee View Post
. . .
As far as those with the "over-modulated 112db recorded bass heavy distorted rap track" and the "1KW car amps huge bass drivers resonating car body parts", I am genuinely happy for them if they like it. But I can still think that they are idiots, at the same time.

They don't have the same goal that I do, of course. But is that just my personal taste versus theirs, with both equally valid? I don't like to think that it is. Not to excuse them, but maybe they just haven't thought as much (or as well) about it. Maybe they are still too young and having too much fun with drugs, alcohol, and women to care, yet. But I would like to believe that they would like their preferred "music" even more if they heard it on a "perfect" system (with loudness to spare, of course, per their taste). [And, if we were lucky, maybe they would then start to learn to dislike it.] It's also possible that they're simply incorrigible idiots.

It's sometimes difficult to open other people's eyes. But that doesn't mean that I should close mine too.

Cheers,

Tom
I loved your comment.

Now, I don't have a boom car, but just happened to think that maybe, with loud rap, it could be the case of replay exactly as the artist intended.
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