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Old 10th January 2013, 10:58 AM   #8021
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvv View Post
While I agree with the bulk of your post, there are some points where we do not agree, or have remained unmentioned.
I think your right, many points have remained unmentioned and we probably disagree on some issues. For example I find many German Speakers are too bright and would say the same for many UK speakers.

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My belief is that by and large, the Germans made better audio than the Brits overall, with some exceptions in both camps.
I think your right, especially in the early days of transistors. I also agree that exceptions exist in both camps.
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Originally Posted by dvv View Post
And in my view, the reason why German audio failed on the world market is due to the fact that while Germans could make it better than most, their marketing was below everybody else, about the bottom. This resulted in the German industry turning for OEM manufacturing to the Japanese in the early 80ies, and by well known German companies being bought out by others (e.g. Wega by Sony, Uher by Harman International, Grundig and Loewe by Philips, etc).

Germans helped this by blindly and suicidally sticking to DIN 3 and 5 pole socket standards, which the wide world was not happy with. Germans failed to understand that power sells, and hence their amps were underpowered by new standards set by US and Japanese manufacturers.
I totally agree on the above points.

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Originally Posted by dvv View Post
The one field where I feel the Germans have been heavily wronged by most others was loudspeakers. Briefly, my feeling is that Germans had evolved dome drivers to the point where they took the lead, generally expressed by very low droop at higher frequencies, at a time when the UK industry struggled for linearity above 15 kHz. This subjectively made German speakers sound brighter than say UK speakers, and the British press, very chauvinistically, proclaimed them too bright, shreaking, etc, most of which was just not true. So, companies well worth noting, like Canton, Heco, Kucke & Sohn, Elac, etc were unjustly passed over. If it's any consolation, the French did about the same - who in the UK or USA even knows about Cabasse speakers? Yet, Monsieur George Cabasse produced as many, if not more, great designs than Mr Paul Klipsch, or Mr James Lansing.
I agree again, and to help illustrate the point have never heard of "Monsieur George Cabasse".

In my opinion most speakers and most HiFI systems do sound so bad in the sound above 10KHz that its better to have the speakers not produce sound in the top octave. I also believe producing terrible treble is hard, and most HiFi in my opinion fails very badly in reproducing the top octave (of which 17KHz is my hearing limit).
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It's an unjust world, my friend, a world where it only matters how it looks to be, not what it really is.
But here we have to credit Braun in the 1950's to the early 1960's for making the coolest looking equipment. Rather than get distracted by details lets get back to my main point.

When Speakers in general sound so much like speakers playing recorded music, rather than people in your room. I think its amazing that HiFI can produce illusions of rooms larger than they play in, with a sound stage of musicians so effectively.

This is clearly a case of us wanting to believe in an illusion, and the question remaining is what breaks this illusion?
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Old 10th January 2013, 11:11 AM   #8022
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Thank you for saying the kind words about the BBC etc . I just got some Russian GU 50 valves in the post . These are clones of Telefunken LS 50 circa 1942 . Some say they are not sexy enough . To me they look like they came from the 1956 film Forbidden Planet . I also have some GEC KT 88 in my collection . Funny how the LS 50 was overlooked for so long . A Siemens cinema amp I had briefly used EL 34 , I suspect LS 50 a far better choice .
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Old 10th January 2013, 12:32 PM   #8023
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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I think you underestimate Braun. Not only did they realise very early on that audio equipment must look cool, they actually built it to a sound, not a price. Remeber, in those days, Braun was anything but cheap, and obviously, they didn't give a damn. It had to SOUND right and look good, but as far as I know, they never switched places of those two requirements. Always sound first.

Which is why I lament their present day absence from the audio area.

The total tragedy is that almost all other German companies, which had exactly the same reasoning at the time, are also gone.

Do you remember the old Kirskaetter receivers and speakers? In the early 70ies, they were practically all alone up there, NOBODY could touch them for any sane price, and above them were only the American exotic models. Before somebody "invented" monster receivers, they were making and selling them. Look at their tuner specs - they would do honor to any tuner even today, analog as they were. The Japanese managed such specs 7 or 8 years later. ( http://hifiarchiv.dasfree.com/Kirksaeter/ )

Obviously, I am a German audio industry nostalgic sentimentalist, and I admit it freely. I feel audio has lost much for lack of its pure reasoning and sane engineering. And, as everybody knows, first love is never forgotten.

Not that the German industry didn't have its quirks, as any industry does; for example, ever wondered how come a nominally 12.5 WPC/4 Ohms Grundig receiver from 1968 somehow manages to sound better than anything coming from Japan at the time? I did, so I reserached and found the answer - they simply had a loudness function built in with often no possibility of switching it off. So, at normal room levels, they sounded somehow more forceful, more powerful than most of their Japanese counterparts. And they were generous with the boost, especially in the bass. Too generous, I think.

Regrding tone controls and loudness compensation, I feel all should be adjustable and of course switchable. Your choice. So far, the overall best solution I've come across is that of Yamaha, they use a pot for loudness, with an off click at zero. So do my vintage Marantz 3250B preamp, and my vintage Marantz 1180 integrated amp. Hence, I speak from personal experience.
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Old 10th January 2013, 02:28 PM   #8024
a.wayne is offline a.wayne  United States
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
Wired systems (e.g. Internet) and expensive multi-station digital systems (e.g. DAB) are easy for the authorities to switch off when it suits them, and difficult for other people to implement alternatives. OK while European countries remain democratic; not so nice when things change.
Democracy .. Nigel would disagree abit on that ...

'Who the Hell You Think You Are?' Nigel Farage throws egg in Eurocrat faces - YouTube

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Originally Posted by dvv View Post
While I agree with the bulk of your post, there are some points where we do not agree, or have remained unmentioned.

True, Braun was THE mainstream company, in many ways dictating the German mainstream. But, this was no accident, or blind luck - look inside their products and yu will see some very modern and sometimes bold solutions you are not likely to find anywhere else. As a consequence of that, some of their products had very interesting lives. Remember their TG1000 open reel deck? It looked oh-so-different when it appeared in 1969 (?), and it lived on as a local legend until 1975 or so. But it didn't just die or fade away, it was sold off as a project to ASC, who launched their 5000 machine, and then the 6000 machine, both further evolutions of the original, and went on to be made and sold until mid 80ies.

Except its main Swiss/German (owned and designed by Studer of Switzerland, but actually made in Loeffingen, Germany) reVox, I cannot remember ANY tape deck, by anybody, which managed to pull off that stunt.

Earlier on in this thread, I mentioned a product by a German company called Linear Audio Systems (LAS). It appeared in the second half of the 70ies, and in its day, it was in some respects way ahead of its time. Make it today, and I'll wager it will still blow the pants off most of its competitors, but what is impressive about it that unlike most mainstream Japanese, and even US and UK products of its day, it was based on force of intelligent design rather than sheer power (100/150W into 8/4 Ohms).

My shopping list today has only two items on it, both German - a Grunding V 5000 integrated amp and an ASC LV 5000 integrated amp (series II, with RCA Cinch rather than DIN 5 pole sockets). And believe me, I already have a nice collection of vintage gear.

My HiFi life started very modestly in 1966 with an Uher Report mono tape deck. Next was an Uher Royal De Luxe 5 years later, and the tape deck story ended with a Philips 4560 28 kilo machine, which took me to mid 90ies. My first turntable was a Dual 1019, and I still proudly own a Dual CS 604. My headphone collections will always contain something by Sennheiser and Beyer Dynamic. I still own a reVox B760 tuner, made in Loeffingen. Professionally, I have used many Klein & Hummel active speakers in TV editing rooms. Virtually all of the microphones I have ever used were by Sennheiser, with a little South Germany (Austria) AKG thrown in.

My point is, we could go on discussing the subject, but we'd better do it off forum in private mail, as we are far better versed than anyone alse here. My belief is that by and large, the Germans made better audio than the Brits overall, with some exceptions in both camps.

And in my view, the reason why German audio failed on the world market is due to the fact that while Germans could make it better than most, their marketing was below everybody else, about the bottom. This resulted in the German industry turning for OEM manufacturing to the Japanese in the early 80ies, and by well known German companies being bought out by others (e.g. Wega by Sony, Uher by Harman International, Grundig and Loewe by Philips, etc).

Germans helped this by blindly and suicidally sticking to DIN 3 and 5 pole socket standards, which the wide world was not happy with. Germans failed to understand that power sells, and hence their amps were underpowered by new standards set by US and Japanese manufacturers.

The one field where I feel the Germans have been heavily wronged by most others was loudspeakers. Briefly, my feeling is that Germans had evolved dome drivers to the point where they took the lead, generally expressed by very low droop at higher frequencies, at a time when the UK industry struggled for linearity above 15 kHz. This subjectively made German speakers sound brighter than say UK speakers, and the British press, very chauvinistically, proclaimed them too bright, shreaking, etc, most of which was just not true. So, companies well worth noting, like Canton, Heco, Kucke & Sohn, Elac, etc were unjustly passed over. If it's any consolation, the French did about the same - who in the UK or USA even knows about Cabasse speakers? Yet, Monsieur George Cabasse produced as many, if not more, great designs than Mr Paul Klipsch, or Mr James Lansing.

It's an unjust world, my friend, a world where it only matters how it looks to be, not what it really is.
They failed because the sound was bland and unnatural sounding , the british made much better speakers , the germans better electronics, but they were never price competitive on this side vs Japan and none held a candle to american electronics, especially amplifiers ..

Big Power is King ....

Big speakers is King ^2...

Gladly they all have figured this out and now we are here ...
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Old 10th January 2013, 05:11 PM   #8025
DF96 is online now DF96  England
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I was careful to avoid waking up the mods! My views on the EU are not for this forum.
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Old 10th January 2013, 05:32 PM   #8026
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Originally Posted by dvv View Post
And some of, with no golden ears, actually hear as per the Fletcher-Munson curves, so we need some loudness compensation. Ideally, a variable one is preferred, so everyone can adjust as per his own needs.
wow, you are capable of mind reading LOL.
I was thinking just that while writing the quoted post. when was the moment when a guy got struck by lighting and then after having awakened from the coma said "guys, I have the greatest idea, let's just ditch the tone and loudness controls altogether"?
great that you mentioned Fletcher-Munson. I never ceases to amaze me how the golden eared ones just label one "scope reader" at the mere mention of such phenomena. hellooo, it's been proven many years ago and it really does apply to everyone, training one's vision does not make one able to see squares instead of circles you know, just as every audiophile hears tonality as per F/M. now wait a minute, the circles and squares analogy does apply to some audiophiles. well, I'll try to find a better one next time LOL
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Last edited by mr_push_pull; 10th January 2013 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 10th January 2013, 06:33 PM   #8027
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by a.wayne View Post
...

They failed because the sound was bland and unnatural sounding , the british made much better speakers , the germans better electronics, but they were never price competitive on this side vs Japan and none held a candle to american electronics, especially amplifiers ..

Big Power is King ....

Big speakers is King ^2...

Gladly they all have figured this out and now we are here ...
(Underlined by DVV)

I couldn't disagree more, both on German and British speakers. I suppose much depends on what one has heard and which circustances, but I could name off hand several German made speakers which I'd love to have even now, after so many years.

Of the British speakers, personally I wouldn't want most of them, although some I did like, and some I loved, such as, for example, Spendor BC3, or Celestion Ditton 66. Haven't heard a KEF or a B&W which I loved yet, which is not to say they are poor speakers, just not my cup of tea. I do like some Tannoys, though.

I agree that if you want big sound, you have to have big speakers - I have never yet heard a small speaker, by anybody at any price, which could fool me into believeing that it was bigger than it actually was. Some were good speakers, no doubt, but small.

I can believe that German electronics were not competitive on that side of the Atlantic, but I would add that some of German electronics were too sophisticated for the US market. Just as much of US electronics, good as they may have been, have always been too big, brawny and garage designed for European tastes. Remember the old Krell KSA series? Definitely agricultural styling, even if they did sound really good.

I don't pay much attention to design, I don't really care so long as the music coming from it pleases me, but many think otherwise. This is true of big brawny US creations, as well of the obligatory death black from Germany.

As I said, the Germans failed beacuse they never got the idea that power sells in the USA, compared to nominal power outputs of the Japanese, the Germans were positively pedestrian. On the other hand, Germans designed their gear for 4 Ohm loads, as defined by DIN 45500 standards, so their actual drive capability was a dream for the Japanese. Remember, German gear had to be able to handle two pairs of speaker in parallel, meaning effectively 2 Ohm loads. That was in 1975, and the Japanese are still struggling.

It's also true that in Germany, as on any market, there were low, mid and high end manufacturers. Obviously, when I speak of high quality, I refer to the mid and high ends of the market.
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Old 10th January 2013, 06:39 PM   #8028
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Originally Posted by mr_push_pull View Post
wow, you are capable of mind reading LOL.
I was thinking just that while writing the quoted post. when was the moment when a guy got struck by lighting and then after having awakened from the coma said "guys, I have the greatest idea, let's just ditch the tone and loudness controls altogether"?
great that you mentioned Fletcher-Munson. I never ceases to amaze me how the golden eared ones just label one "scope reader" at the mere mention of such phenomena. hellooo, it's been proven many years ago and it really does apply to everyone, training one's vision does not make one able to see squares instead of circles you know, just as every audiophile hears tonality as per F/M. now wait a minute, the circles and squares analogy does apply to some audiophiles. well, I'll try to find a better one next time LOL
Many, if not most, "golden eared" persons are self proclaimed as such.

The very idea of "golden ears" is stupid in my view, because if one man can hear much more than I, no matter what I buy my hearing will still be inferior. If anything, this begs the question: why invest tons of money into gear which he says is better, but I do not hear it as such?

And I do not get en erection when I proclaim that my amp at home delivers gazzillion of Watts into a pair of shoe strngs. Many people are turned on.

All my life, I have and do believe in balance. Balance between quality and price, but I am willing to pay more if I get more. Balance between an engineering approach and a music lover's approach to designing, in my small way - it's not all about numbers and measurements, but then, it's also not all in the hearing.

I like to use the word "reasonable".
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Old 10th January 2013, 07:20 PM   #8029
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you have no idea how funny this is to me, as I have have too fallen into the trap of thinking how come all my speakers sounded rather thin at low volumes. *although* all the necessary info was there in my head (F/M). it took very long and the luck of me running into a discussion about recommended mixing/mastering levels. oh and maybe the help of reading/hearing too much mumbo-jumbo about speakers that miraculously solve this.
now that I think about it, that may be partially true as I think there are some bass drivers that are deliberately non-linear to somehow compensate for this but OTOH not sure it's the way to go (the hell with reducing distortion, let's embrace it). now where did I read about those drivers?
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Old 10th January 2013, 07:36 PM   #8030
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I was careful to avoid waking up the mods! My views on the EU are not for this forum.
Nigel got you covered .....
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