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Old 13th May 2013, 01:06 PM   #8941
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
I suspect that "timing" is another of those crucial parameters which
a) has little or nothing to do with the time at which something happens (i.e. timing!)
b) cannot be measured by currently known instruments - which can measure timing quite well.

"Dreary dragging quality" could be due to lack of distortion. "Sparkle" could be due to a nasty HF resonance in a tweeter.
I largely agree. I always think that if there are real "timing" issues, it should be possible to put a decent microphone at the listening position and record the difference
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Old 13th May 2013, 01:10 PM   #8942
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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Nige, I don't know what you mean when you say "properly set up".

In both cases, the power amplification was using original Quad 405 amps, set up as suggested in the owner manual.

One room measures about 4.5 by 6 meters, or 27 sq.m and is 3.2 m high; the other was a pre WWII room, at least 7 m long, at least 5 m wide and 4.2 m high. Both had sparse furniture and both had been acoustically treated (how well, I cannot know).

We need to define what we mean when we say "deep bass". For me, "deep bass" means 40 Hz and below, and regarding the fundamental tone, not its second harmonic.

I'm not absolutely sure, but I seem to remember that a normally tuned bass guitar doesn't go below around 60 Hz anyway. Below that, we have a few grand piano notes, the tympani and of course, The Bassmeister, church organs, which I am told manage as low as 16 Hz in Ulm. The way they kicked my kidnies around, I'm willing to believe that, I sat there for two solid hours unable to leave - unbelievable sound.

In my view, AR 10Pi did the bass lines more convincingly than the ESL. Probably their best ever acoustic suspension speaker, along with AR 11, it's cheaper cousin. AR9 was way bigger and more expensive, but somehow, it just failed to impress. And I am a loyal-to-death AR fan from yore.

Anyway, AR 10Pi was by no means a cheap speaker, but was still quite a bit less expensive than the ESL.

I repeat - please do not misunderstand me, I am NOT saying the ESL was by any means a lacking speaker, I am saying it was not as good as it was touted to be, despite some of its strong and commendable traits.
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Old 13th May 2013, 01:49 PM   #8943
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Quote:
We need to define what we mean when we say "deep bass". For me, "deep bass" means 40 Hz and below, and regarding the fundamental tone, not its second harmonic.
thats how I define it too
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Old 13th May 2013, 01:51 PM   #8944
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Quad 405 , not their best moment . Inverting phase also which few knew . More of a mini PA amp .

Most program material will struggle to have much below 100 Hz , espeailly in the days of LP . Ironically vinyl always seems to have good bass .

The use of a sub woofer is mostly about power handling and the ability to have very loud bass .

As for first class source . I put together when very young a sound system using some 100 speakers ( KEF clones , Dalesford ) , Sony TA1055 ( nothing special ) and an AKG microphone . I built a pre amp . It was to put the sound of a jazz band into another room at a Hotel . The results knocked me sideways . It truly was hard to tell it wasn't the band when going from that room to the one with the band performing . I had never had sound like that from those speakers before or after . Sorry , source matters and far more than most would even begin to guess . Seldom afterwards regardless of who , what , or where have I heard it so real . That was 38 years ago .

A friend was given some 63's . She had 750 for a complete system . Rega P3 turntable , Yamaha amp , Yamaha CD player . With CD is was abysmal ( no , it was worse than that ) . Then the shock of my life , with the Rega it was more than half decent . The Yamaha amp was not bad at all ( 520 ? ) . The lady asked me if all CD was that bad . Frankly yes was my answer . Since then CD has improved .
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Old 13th May 2013, 01:51 PM   #8945
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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Not in my experience. I have never found a recording to go "backwards" when the system improves.
And what is your definition of "improves"? It sounds better!

(i.e. a circular argument)

It's what I was saying yesterday. People create a 'narrative' about what they are doing. To one person, changing the cable is "reducing distortion". To another, doing exactly the same thing is "cutting down interference" while to another it is "improving the sound stage". They all assume that it is an "improvement" and they confirm their assumption with a subjective, sighted listening test. They can even re-assure us that the improvement also works long term, and that they can swap back and hear the old offensive "distortion" again thus 'proving' it is real but it's just words..... words.... .......

Last edited by CopperTop; 13th May 2013 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 13th May 2013, 02:07 PM   #8946
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Originally Posted by nigel pearson View Post
Quad 405 , not their best moment . Inverting phase also which few knew . More of a mini PA amp .
Could you elaborate more on this? It had (has) a very interesting design that might raise a few eyebrows (it passes the signal through an LM318 op amp I think) , but are there any problems with its measurements? If not, but it can be shown to be unambiguously awful sounding in blind tests, it would be very interesting to work out why. Strange thing is, to its devotees it's the best thing since sliced bread and still sells for a decent price.
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Old 13th May 2013, 02:32 PM   #8947
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
I suspect that "timing" is another of those crucial parameters which
a) has little or nothing to do with the time at which something happens (i.e. timing!)
b) cannot be measured by currently known instruments - which can measure timing quite well.

"Dreary dragging quality" could be due to lack of distortion. "Sparkle" could be due to a nasty HF resonance in a tweeter.
I have heard many ultra low distortion amps that are vibrant . Perreaux comes to mind .It should be dull if low distortion does that , it isn't . I have heard many low distortion amps that sound odd ( Radford transistor ) . PSU is my doubt if so . The Radofrd would be OK into a reactive load so unlikely to be unstable . Some Sony amps were not the best .

The dreaded NE 5534 is possibly blamed mostly for the company it kept . Many designers used it and the bad sound was associated with the chip . As a sound engineer told me . 90% of the audiophiles most treasured recordings came out of 5534's . In his company it was possible to go through 90 of them and still get a reasonable sound ( SSL ) !

Take the 5534 as a mini power amp . Hear it sound from good to dreadful . Some will give a list of op amps that beat it almost like a court of law where the 5534 is some kind of criminal . All I will say is those who can not get a 5534 to sound OK will not do better with other chips . They might actually , lady luck does that sometimes . It isn't engineering when that happens , just forgiving qualities of the op amp .

Timing I would say is simply by ear adjusting the bandwidth . Slightly less bass might help a modest PSU . Often the amp will measure fine either way . An amp with a vibrant sound and good timing will never need to have distortion or worse . Looking at Hi Fi World magazine seldom did a great sounding amplifier have bad measurements . The usual comment " a great sounding amp with great set of measurements " .
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Old 13th May 2013, 02:34 PM   #8948
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42
Though, there is a sort of exception: recordings carefully constructed by "audiophile" labels do tend to end up sounding terribly lame, they have been so stripped of everything except the primary sound, and the treble content so severely cut at times, that they end up being the most boring recordings to listen to - the string tone on a Bach CD I have of this type is almost stone dead ...
I'm not sure whether by 'primary sound' you mean the actual music that was made with no artificial extras, or you mean the sound with any reverberation or other natural ambience removes. If the former, that is exactly what I would expect from any serious 'audiophile' label.

It is difficult to conceive that an 'audiophile' label will add serious treble cut to a recording. It is quite easy to conceive that other labels will add a treble boost to their recordings, which creates a false expectation of lots of treble. We then miss it when it is missing, as inded it should be. I assume no spectral measurements were made, which could be compared with other recordings?

Your comments on things you have heard are helpful, but I suspect they tell us much more about you and your hearing preferences than they do about the systems/recordings you report on.
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Old 13th May 2013, 02:40 PM   #8949
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel pearson
I have heard many ultra low distortion amps that are vibrant .
Sorry, the word 'vibrant' to me is now a word used by estate agents to describe the more dangerous parts of our cities. The London suburb where I grew up is now 'vibrant'; to me it just seems scruffy, noisy and somewhat threatening. People I know who still live there are now very cautious about venturing out on foot after dark. 40 years ago it was not 'vibrant' but a much nicer place to live.
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Old 13th May 2013, 02:44 PM   #8950
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Originally Posted by CopperTop View Post
Could you elaborate more on this? It had (has) a very interesting design that might raise a few eyebrows (it passes the signal through an LM318 op amp I think) , but are there any problems with its measurements? If not, but it can be shown to be unambiguously awful sounding in blind tests, it would be very interesting to work out why. Strange thing is, to its devotees it's the best thing since sliced bread and still sells for a decent price.

The 606 put a lot of that right . Parallel bridged 405's were well liked . My friend John says the need to impress the PA market might have caused people like me to like it less . He says being bomb proof was highly attractive to the installers . I use a 303 which I feel was slightly the better design . A doctor Ron Smith of Harwell showed me work he did on a 405 . He completely balanced the bridge and showed how distortion was virtually zero if so . Like a fool I lost his notes . He felt that Quad never made a version of the amp anywhere near as good as it could have been . He strongly felt the concept totally valid . 306 was not my cup of tea either . 606 I loved .

The 405 is not my favourite amp . That said I would have no problem using one .
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