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Old 12th August 2011, 02:29 AM   #1
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Default Any Insight? TDS -True Dimensional Sound - How it works?

I recently was told about an add-on that is supposed to improve the sound of digital recordings. Its called TDS Audiophile (True Dimensional Sound).They are now out of business, which has been attributed to bad marketing, not the product.

Its a passive unit that is placed between the pre-amp and source. From what I could glean from some online articles, it that it functions as
a capacitor coupled custom transformer that is tuned to offer increased amplitude in regions less sensitive to the human ear.

Anyone here know what this unit actually does?

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Old 12th August 2011, 11:45 AM   #2
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Otherwise known as a tone control? I note that it also mentions "MAXIMUM harmonic enhancement", which means deliberately introduced distortion. This appears to be yet another effects box.

"Passive harmonic enhancement" presumably means that no active devices are used, so perhaps it uses the BH curve of a transformer to generate a little distortion? This would have to be mainly third-order so would not be to everyone's taste (some prefer second-order, others prefer none).
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Old 12th August 2011, 05:03 PM   #3
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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The only way one could listen without a tone control of some sort would be to play the music at the volume it was was originally played. Otherwise, by not duplicating the original volume level, the ear will perceive the effect of a tone control is subtracts from the sound. No?

Look at this please... http://tdsaudio.net/wired_enhancement.htm
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Old 12th August 2011, 05:21 PM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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OK, so maybe it is a loudness control rather than a tone control. Traditionally these were found on mid-fi equipment in the 1970s, but usually avoided by hi-fi.

Personally I prefer a quiet sound to sound like a quiet sound, rather than add response shaping but each to their own. I prefer sound without added "harmonic enhancement".
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Old 12th August 2011, 06:04 PM   #5
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
OK, so maybe it is a loudness control rather than a tone control. Traditionally these were found on mid-fi equipment in the 1970s, but usually avoided by hi-fi.

Personally I prefer a quiet sound to sound like a quiet sound, rather than add response shaping but each to their own. I prefer sound without added "harmonic enhancement".
You keep telling me what you "prefer." In contrast, I am trying to find out what it actually does. I sense that you are guessing as to what it actually does and never had one to take a part and measure. What it does was originally developed for sonar tracking for the military. It was not developed for hi-fi in its genesis.

The side view mirror on a car's passenger side distorts the image to look further away than it actually is. This distortion has been shown to be beneficial for how it is perceived in traffic. A purist would not have this distortion.

One day, someone is going to chuck all these rules to produce a system that actually makes the listener feel happy about what he hears, rather than being told what he must hear to be correct according to the rules. For, this designer will realize that the rules, as noble as they may be in attempting to form an objective goal, was in itself a distortion in its own way because of how we perceive music emotionally in the presence of the music being played.

A great portrait artist does not simply recreate an image of a person as he was. The better portrait artists know how to compliment the person's uniqueness and personality as to create a pleasing effect while at the same time, you know that the person painted is the person you know.

Since one can not recreate the room in which the music was recorded. To try and play what was recorded back through the limitation of audio equipment, no matter how low certain distortions may be? It will not be the original sound we will be hearing. Therefore, all audio equipment and the room its played in produce a distortion of their own in how they are perceived.

One day, someone is going to chuck all the rules and produce a system that actually makes the listener feel happy about what he hears, rather than being told what he must hear to be correct according to the rules. All the audiophile purists will hate him, but he will be making millions happy with what they finally can hear and truly enjoy. So far the lock step need of manufacturers to fulfill certain rules of audio (within reason)has kept them competitively trying to out-do their competition by certain specs, but fail to please their audiences. But, so far, their audiences are being told what to like, rather than being given something to truly like.

Well... so much for my rant.
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Old 12th August 2011, 06:27 PM   #6
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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The website tells you what it does, and gives some clues as to how it does it. It acts as a loudness control, and it add harmonics. It appears to do this using passive components, including wound components, so the harmonics/distortion presumably uses the non-linear BH curve of the core. I already said this, so I'm not sure what else you want me (or others) to say. It might do some cross-mixing of the stereo channels too. Given a circuit diagram someone might be able to explain exactly what it does and how it does it. Given the circuit diagram perhaps you could do that for yourself?

Many listeners are already happy with their sound, either because it is unadjusted or because it is adjusted in the way they prefer. I'm not sure what point you are making, except perhaps to "rant" (your description!) against your perception of the views of "purists". By bringing up portraiture you may be confusing artistry with reproduction. A painter may 'distort' the subject; a camera should not. In a similar way, musicians present an interpretation of a work; an audio reproduction system should reproduce this. If people want to add changes, to suit their taste, then they are free to do so. The problem only occurs when they deny that their changes are in fact that: changes. In order to correct existing unwanted changes (real or perceived) you would need to know what they were, and usually this information is not available.
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Old 12th August 2011, 09:47 PM   #7
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Just for argument sake...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
By bringing up portraiture you may be confusing artistry with reproduction. A painter may 'distort' the subject; a camera should not.
But, cameras do. Always have. You will always know its a picture.

Certain photographers are famous for the mood and effect they are able to capture in their pictures. I have looked at certain pictures that produce an emotional response, not only because of the subject, but because of the pleasant 'distortions' (effects) that the photographer was able to capture.

With music reproduction? There is no such thing as an Absolute Sound. But, there is such a thing as sounding absolutely pleasant to our personal taste. For, no system can reproduce the actual musical event. But, even if it could? No recording process is free of altering what was being recorded.

I have come to believe that the purist market has produced products that have been designed to target fetishes in those who have more money than they know what to do with. Yet, the purist market's demand has produced better sounding products down the chain by finding ways to eliminate unpleasant distortions. But, just the same, better products that can not produce the exact performance that was recorded. Just sounding better than what used to be manufactured.

I find it amusing when I have done a search of the history of what was considered the purist hi-end audio products of the past. They were very expensive in comparison to what was in the mainstream. They were touted as being very accurate in reproducing the music. But, today? Some mainline products are light years ahead of what used to be available to only a select few back then. Back then, is only repeating itself today.

Things are obviously getting better in the quality of audio equipment by finding ways to eliminate what is not pleasant. But, ironically, many of today's musicians no longer strive for melody and tone. Now, its they who are introducing distortions and effects into the music that were not there before. hah hah! Can't win. Can we?

I believe the big secret to great sound is to regain our capacity to be able to simply sit and enjoy what one is hearing. At one time when we were younger we could listen and enjoy listening to stereos that today we would consider junk. Why is that? Imagine hearing today's audio equipment with that same capacity? Would the purist would look upon that person as being unsophisticated and a hick?

Smile! *CLICK!*
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Old 13th August 2011, 03:46 PM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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You may be surprised to hear that I broadly agree with your last post! I think the main thing I would quibble over is that there is not a purist market, but several purist markets. They target different things. Some aim at purity, but may fail to see the wood for the trees so sometimes strain at minor improvements in tiny areas. Others sell expensive effects boxes to people who deny that they are effects boxes. Yet others aim at people who want to show off their system to their friends (real or virtual) so external appearance takes precedence over sound. Finally there are the followers of fashion; they don't mind how much money they spend or how little they get in return, provided some fashion guru has announced that this or that is the latest thing and anyone without it must be deaf or stupid.
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Old 13th August 2011, 04:55 PM   #9
GeneZ is offline GeneZ  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
Others sell expensive effects boxes to people who deny that they are effects boxes.
That would be like trying to market camera filters not as filters. But, as reality enhancers. In reality, they serve a great purpose even though they alter what is seen. Filters can produce some very enjoyable and pleasing effects when done tastefully. Yet? If the predetermined unrealistic and presumed goal is to capture an image which is indistinguishable the actual thing seen in the picture? That's when you will find a group which will be like the herd bound crowd we read about in the Emperor's New Clothes. They will try to control things and tell you what you must like. One must be discerning and march to the beat of a different drummer if he is to find contentment with what is offered today.
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Old 13th August 2011, 05:46 PM   #10
jerryo is offline jerryo  Isle of Man
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Bloody expensive tone control/loudness if you ask me!
I would love to see what's inside to warrant the price.
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