Why "minimalism" is not popular ? - Page 22 - diyAudio
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Old 11th March 2013, 06:08 PM   #211
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CopperTop View Post
Are we sure that everyone even has remotely similar criteria by which they judge an audio system? To me it seems obvious that a good audio system is going to have to reproduce cleanly the sound of an orchestra at something like realistic levels. It's going to include tinkly high stuff, and huge bass 'whoomps'! If it can do that, it can also do rock, and middle of the road jazz etc. Only after establishing that would I begin to worry about the nebulous, probably imaginary, stuff.

But is this how most people judge a system? There seems to be an awful lot of Dave Brubeck's Take Five being played at audio shows, and that would sound the same on my superb (of course!) speakers or any old valve radiogram from 60 years ago. Or there are people sitting in reverential silence listening to the tinkliest piano music barely emerging from huge horns. Or listening to compressed AOR. None of it, it seems to me, is a particularly good test of an audio system. It makes me wonder if we are all talking at cross purposes, and when people say how wonderful minimal amplifiers and speakers are, does it really apply to the sort of music I listen to.
I love you.

LOL

I COMPLETELY agree that the typical crap found on the Chesky test CDs is completely irrelevant for evaluation. there are many "usual" (as in not specifically made for testing) CDs that are way better. crowded passages, transients, loud passages, silent passages, all in the same song. AND musically engaging.
simple music sounds good even on PC speakers.
I laughed out loud when a guy from ESS said during a RMAF presentation that "he has come to love the audiophile favorite Spanish Harlem". what kind of people listen to that type of music? if I were an audio salesman, seeing a guy bring a Chesky CD to the showroom would mean "audio snob alert".
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Old 12th March 2013, 01:14 PM   #212
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@mr_push_pull

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_push_pull View Post
I COMPLETELY agree that the typical crap found on the Chesky test CDs is completely irrelevant for evaluation. there are many "usual" (as in not specifically made for testing) CDs that are way better. crowded passages, transients, loud passages, silent passages, all in the same song. AND musically engaging.
simple music sounds good even on PC speakers.
I laughed out loud when a guy from ESS said during a RMAF presentation that "he has come to love the audiophile favorite Spanish Harlem". what kind of people listen to that type of music? if I were an audio salesman, seeing a guy bring a Chesky CD to the showroom would mean "audio snob alert".
I have had a very sheltered upbringing and I didn't even know about Chesky CDs! I see what you mean, though. There's clearly an entire sub-culture out there, of middle-of-the-road anodyne music that is offensive in its inoffensiveness.

It's a quandary as to what music you should use to 'test' a system, I think. As you are going to be hearing the same music over and over again on good and bad systems, it would seem wasteful to use music that you actually like - you'll end up sick of it, which would be a shame. Perhaps the best stuff would be something you've already listened to death, so you know it inside out, but are not so influenced by the music itself any more.

I always find that the first two seconds of this at high volume tells you what you're going to get (non-minimalist systems vs. minimalist, or large speakers vs. small) but the whole track is thrilling:

Stravinsky: The Firebird (L'oiseau de feu) - Infernal Dance of All Kashchei's Subjects by Valery Gergiev on Spotify
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Old 20th March 2013, 09:35 AM   #213
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Logically, shouldn't the arguments in favour of minimalism in audio, also apply to optics..?

Sure enough, everything else being equal, it would be better to look through a thin window than a thick one. But what other similarities are there?

We could base a working camera (or projector) on a single pinhole. It would work after a fashion, but not be very sensitive (or powerful).

We could use a single lens which would be OK in the middle of the picture, but out of focus at the edges, with some colour fringing, rather like a child's toy camera.

But, as designers have known for decades, the key to real quality from the centre of the image to the edges is to make a compound lens from many elements, using different materials with different refractive indexes.

Why is there no movement to get back to minimal optics? Why do people not proclaim the pinhole camera as the ultimate for true quality? Have you ever looked through a pair of binoculars or a camera with complex compund lens and thought "This is OK, but it lacks the 'opticality' of my first toy camera when I was a child. If I had some spherical lenses made out of high quality glass, and mounted them in a hand-made ebonite box with knurled brass knobs, it would produce the ultimate images. It's all about the materials. Why, oh why, have the evil corporations taken us to this place where lenses have a dozen different elements? If only they had my insights." etc. ?
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Old 20th March 2013, 12:47 PM   #214
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Going ahead with this very interesting comparison i wonder if a test analogous (on principle) to this one

MTF - Modulation Transfer Function

could be developed also for audio circuits.
It is widely accepted for lenses testing i suppose.
At least for "transparency" in sound ....
Regards,
gino

Last edited by ginetto61; 20th March 2013 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 09:17 AM   #215
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Sorry the last provocative question
This is the schema of a well reviewed headphone amp

Click the image to open in full size.

As with low impedance headphones (i used this type) even a good buffer without voltage gain could be enough, it may be possible that a 4 bjts diamond buffer would sound better than this one ?
If the answer is yes i call this perversion ... not only overdesign
The idea to go with very complex topologies without having explore all the possibilities of simpler ones for me is insane
Only when i am sure that top performances cannot be obtained with simpler topologies i would search for more
I do not know what is the drive sometimes
Is not still valid the KISS principle ?
I swear ... no more ramblings
Good day !
gino

Last edited by ginetto61; 23rd March 2013 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 10:21 AM   #216
regal is offline regal  United States
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I've tried discrete ss headamp circuits and they rarel end up minimalist, always a nasty compensation cap to prevent oscillation or a dc servo which imo is nothing more than a electronic capacitor.

I swear by minimalist. For phones like Grados and Senns all one need is a spud SET. A 6c45pi series fed output transformer, led bias, SSHV B+, separate chassis. The signal current loop as Lyn Olsen refers is just nothing no caps, and it even measures good +-1db 20-20k. Even 1khz 2H distortion is below audibility at normal listening levels. It is as close to a wire with gain as you can get. Quite a few have built around this topology.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 11:27 AM   #217
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Quote:
Originally Posted by regal View Post
I've tried discrete ss headamp circuits and they rarel end up minimalist,
always a nasty compensation cap to prevent oscillation or a dc servo which imo is nothing more than a electronic capacitor
Hi ! thank you for the valuable reply but let me elaborate a little
I think that the correct way is to start from the purpose of a circuit
I am not sure but i think that some line preamps could drive properly high impedance headphones.
My point is that on this basis a line preamp is the unit more similar to a headphone amp
So why do not take a nice and simple line preamp and beef it up ?
Take an elegant schema like this one below (i am referring to the output amplifier module)

Click the image to open in full size.

change output devices for something stronger, maybe use +/- 24V ...
and it is done isn't it ?
What if a schema like this sounds better than the other hugely more complex ? wouldn't be it weird ?
A line preamp, or a very low power amp, are the closest thing to an headphone amp
So let's start from some nice examples of this kind of equipment
An exceptionally simple and good units of this kind do exist
The problem is to fine tune them maybe
I do not know ... i am confused by this love for complexity... really

Quote:
I swear by minimalist.
For phones like Grados and Senns all one need is a spud SET.
A 6c45pi series fed output transformer, led bias, SSHV B+, separate chassis. The signal current loop as Lyn Olsen refers is just nothing no caps, and it even measures good +-1db 20-20k. Even 1khz 2H distortion is below audibility at normal listening levels.
It is as close to a wire with gain as you can get.
Quite a few have built around this topology
When you say
Quote:
For phones like Grados and Senns all one need is a spud SET
is there anything, apart Stax, left out ?
I understand that you like tubes. I like more minimalism than tubes.
Because i am sure that something good and simple can be done even with SS
But yes, tube circuits are fundamentally minimalist and this i like very much
But again between minimalism and ultra complex a reasonble complexity can be accepted easily
Sometime in some headphone amps i see a huge number of tiny output transistors paralleled .... why not just a serious pair ?
Or again ... why instead of a driver and a output bjt not using a darlington ?
One instead of two
Speaking of heapdhone amps the excellent Grace M901 was built around only one op-amp

Click the image to open in full size.

And it was a professional device able to drive anything
Again ,,, i do not understand this love for elaborated units
It is like those cuisines extremely elaborate where maybe the raw materials are ****
The very good meat is sublime even raw
Thanks again
Kind regards,
gino

Last edited by ginetto61; 23rd March 2013 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 12:47 PM   #218
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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A line stage which can double as a headphone amp has been designed for bragging rights rather than sound quality. The requirements are different, and would steer the designer to different compromises.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 12:50 PM   #219
regal is offline regal  United States
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well its a misconception that headphone amps are similar to line amps, a dynamic driver of 32 ohms has nothing in common to an amp input of 10k. I am a fan of tubes as well as transformer coupling. When the audible distortion and noise is below audibility with 98dB/w phones its hard to argue that any thing is more minimalist than a single active component of the most linearity device ever invented (triode) in common cathode stage, you should try it. These amps measure better than you can believe. Granted there is help in SS with the power supplies, but they are uniquely out of the signal current loop.
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Old 23rd March 2013, 12:58 PM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
A line stage which can double as a headphone amp has been designed for bragging rights rather than sound quality.
The requirements are different, and would steer the designer to different compromises
I agree with you
A line preamp must have a low voltage gain and be able to drive 10k with some 500pF (the load of a power amp)
And headphone amp should have a more complex task because headphones can go from 30 to lets say 300 ohm with different sensibilities
I dont say to use a line preamp to drive headphones
I say to take a line preamp schematic and mod it to drive headphones
Then everyone is free to choose what he likes
If he likes a line buffer with 150 bjts free to buy and use it
I would prefer a diamond buffer ... even only from an aesthetic point of view
It is so much more elegant
Regards,
gino
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