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Old 15th April 2013, 10:34 AM   #21
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Copper, you are not alone.
I know that there are music loving audiophiles with good tastes in music.
middle aged men listening in reverence to a girl playing a guitar... very graphic description. man up and play some Wagner, damn it LOL
I am saddened about this because I start feeling that it's not about music after all but about having something to do. start playing with model planes, get a motorcycle. there are tons of hobbies with a high level of satisfaction which don't make you look like an obsessive-compulsive freak.
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Old 15th April 2013, 10:49 AM   #22
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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Originally Posted by CopperTop View Post
Whether or not it's a flaw in the recording or real, live music, sound can sometimes be quite hard on the ears, and my ears do get tired there's no doubt about it.
My ears are also sensitive, not only to peaky sounds, but also to ill and fatiguing sound that has no life. So Fostex and Lowther are not my cup of tea. Nor the opamp sound of active systems.

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Originally Posted by CopperTop View Post
I could certainly envisage a live performance where someone's guitar pedal has a constant high frequency whistle (there's a couple of Jimi Hendrix tracks like that I seem to recall) where a speaker with a rolled off top end would make it more bearable, for example.
Hmm. May be I have been safe because I don't like Jimi Hendrix's

But I believe that high frequency performance is the key to high end sound. I prefer the amplifier system that has good phase performance up to MHz. Tweeter also has to be good up to at least 40KHz

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Originally Posted by CopperTop View Post
Constant pounding of the ears with the full dynamic range of an orchestra or rock drums will tire your ears quickly, whereas listening to it on a system with limited dynamic range (i.e. a compression characteristic that may also give distortion) may allow listening for longer - which may be misinterpreted as less listener fatigue = better speakers.
Like I mentioned previously, I don't like the peaky fullranges, but seriously, I still prefer them to the fatiguing lifeless speakers.

Many things that I don't understand. For example, my speaker sound good even if I put the tweeter one meter apart from the woofer(s). The crossover is very complex but they blend well even with such distance. So I don't understand about those speakers where the tweeter is made at different distance from the ears than the woofer. Or those speaker where the sweet spot is only between the speakers. I think that is the effect of trusting the measurement tools.
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Old 15th April 2013, 11:14 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Barleywater View Post
If room is too small/too live it masks low level reverberant details in recording. This is most apparent with acoustic music and trying to capture live space. Pop music is mostly packaged for casual listening; cars, headphones, crappy mini stereos. In these situations artificial reverberation is often engineered in; typically at levels much higher than encountered in natural spaces. Likewise dynamic compression when pushed too far leads to effect of gnawing sameness. You turn overly compressed recording up to get peaks at live level, and none of the reverberant details work out right in the mind.

With high definition system this is price of admission.

If listening space is too live, then indeed it asserts a sameness on all sources. Details lost, or given contrast are specific to room/speaker behavior.
I fear you are right and I may have to address the room acoustics. I am actually reluctant to do this, because in my mind that means I have gone over to full audiophile mode, rather than just being a music lover with an interest in DSP who likes great sound!

Quote:

Standard for me is getting reverse null of driver pairs as deep and symmetrical as possible...
Thanks for all the suggestions - it may take some time to digest it all.

I have been striving for an automatic impulse response inversion for each driver, but I also think that I should smooth the correction as well, rather than correcting every little wrinkle in the amplitude and phase responses. I am also applying a pre-calculated baffle step correction curve to each enclosure, rather than attempting to do this by measurement.

I then apply separate delays to give the smoothest crossovers possible at the listening position. I haven't tried for any kind of room correction beyond this, however.

Other people think they sound great. Someone who owns Quad electrostatics thinks mine sound the same plus they go louder and have bass, so I think I'm not too far off!
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Old 15th April 2013, 03:07 PM   #24
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All my hi-fi's work just fine. I can't help it if I'm lucky.

I don't tweak things. I just build one thing after another.

The principal need they're built to fulfil is the need to build and make things. Plus maybe the momentary need for the item. If I'm honest though, I don't need 9 headphone amplifiers. Call them experimental prototypes.

I've built radios, speakers, amplifiers, combos, DACs, a turntable and arm, motor controllers, motors, digital meters, a chronograph, flashlights, aeroplanes, helicopters (from kits). A plantpot furnace to smelt aluminum, a coilwinder, a photographic enlarger (reaching back a while now), a colour print tank agitator, a pinhole camera, a waterdrop microscope. Boats, rafts, a steam engine, a miniature cannon (what else are you gonna do with a lathe?) I made the gunpowder and ball for that. One thing I wanted to build, but never got round to, is an internal combustion (piston) engine. I'd have a go at a jet (turbine) too. I've cast bullets and lead soldiers and plaster gnomes in a rubber mould.

If I thought for a while a few more things would come to mind. A bandurria (not too successful). Glass. I made some glass. A chemical garden. A reflux condenser. A Leyden jar. PCBs. A UV lightbox. An acetylene torch with calcium carbide (dangerous). Gun cotton. I'd have made cordite, but I stopped short of the nitroglycerine.

A cotton-reel tank. A jigsaw. French knitting. Crochet. A loom. Cloth (not much). Trousers. A skirt for my sister. Fire. I made fire.
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Last edited by counter culture; 15th April 2013 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 15th April 2013, 11:01 PM   #25
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Jay, you got involved on the "invisible speakers" thread, and obviously had some inspiring moments in achieving impressive sound. To me, what is remarkable is the obsession that a large number of people in this forum have, that the answer is in the speakers. Yes, they're easy to work with, and to try oodles and oodles of variations and combinations of drivers and cabinets and directivity and orientation and everything else under the sun. However, unless you're very lucky they will never deliver a fully satisfying answer -- it's a bit like expecting an ordinary car to become a high performance vehicle by doing nothing except varying the wheel rims and tyres, and not touching the suspension, engine or gearbox.

The MP3 thing you mentioned is a good example of what's possible: if that track is resampled to an uncompressed format and played through a well sorted out system people would get a shock as to how good it sounded.

Yes, everything is explainable, in rational terms. And part of the formula is to worry about the source component and the amplifying component, it you don't do your homework there then the sound will never reach and maintain the optimum heights ...
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Old 16th April 2013, 01:44 AM   #26
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Jay, you got involved on the "invisible speakers" thread, and obviously had some inspiring moments in achieving impressive sound. To me, what is remarkable is the obsession that a large number of people in this forum have, that the answer is in the speakers.
But that is also my opinion, that the answer is often in the speaker. Well, of course it depends on our position in the ladder of sound perfection.

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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Yes, they're easy to work with, and to try oodles and oodles of variations and combinations of drivers and cabinets and directivity and orientation and everything else under the sun.
If you think that they (the speakers) are easy to work with, then I think that is the mistake. The argument that speakers are not easy is actually the reason why it is important, because it will easily become a bottleneck in the system chain, without being noticed.

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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
However, unless you're very lucky they will never deliver a fully satisfying answer -- it's a bit like expecting an ordinary car to become a high performance vehicle by doing nothing except varying the wheel rims and tyres, and not touching the suspension, engine or gearbox.
Basically it is the same story. Some people may and already have used bad speaker and try oodles and oodles of variations with source and amplification and never satisfied either.

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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
The MP3 thing you mentioned is a good example of what's possible: if that track is resampled to an uncompressed format and played through a well sorted out system people would get a shock as to how good it sounded.
Once the speaker is good, I found that the source or the amp becomes not so important. That's why we have heard many people with very expensive system say that Pass' simple class-A amps sound worse than very complex low distortion class-B amps. I believe that with most cheap systems, Pass amps ought to sound much better.

I also enjoy musical DVD very much. Many say that DVD quality is not audiophile quality On the contrary, what I don't like is most if not all of the audiophile recordings that I have.

If you want an easy recording, try to reproduce the CD with special line level tube amplification (6J5 was my favorite). After recorded back to CD, the sound becomes... more like from a tube amp.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Yes, everything is explainable, in rational terms. And part of the formula is to worry about the source component and the amplifying component, it you don't do your homework there then the sound will never reach and maintain the optimum heights ...
It is very complex. The bottleneck (weakest link) can wander from source to amplifier to speaker to anything in the signal chain (room is never an issue for me). It takes a lifetime hands-on experience (and theoretical knowledge) to understand it well. At higher level, it could be just one diode or one capacitor.
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Old 16th April 2013, 02:12 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jay View Post
But that is also my opinion, that the answer is often in the speaker. Well, of course it depends on our position in the ladder of sound perfection.
It may be in the speaker, but unlikely to be the driver itself - IME, ...

Quote:
If you think that they (the speakers) are easy to work with, then I think that is the mistake. The argument that speakers are not easy is actually the reason why it is important, because it will easily become a bottleneck in the system chain, without being noticed.
What different speakers will do is to highlight different deficiencies earlier in the chain, they add "spice" in numerous subtle combinations, by exaggerating or minimising problems elsewhere ...

Quote:
Basically it is the same story. Some people may and already have used bad speaker and try oodles and oodles of variations with source and amplification and never satisfied either.

Once the speaker is good, I found that the source or the amp becomes not so important.
Sorry, this doesn't happen for me. Some of the most excrutiatingly upleasant sound I've heard has been through very expensive, highly regarded speakers - I remember one occasion hearing Wilson speakers, MAXX I think, through top of the line MBL electronics - truly dreadful sound. Wilson is a brand I've heard over and over again where I wish I had brought some ear muffs -- nothing wrong with the speakers per se, but they emphasise every tiny defect earlier on ...

Quote:
It is very complex. The bottleneck (weakest link) can wander from source to amplifier to speaker to anything in the signal chain (room is never an issue for me). It takes a lifetime hands-on experience (and theoretical knowledge) to understand it well. At higher level, it could be just one diode or one capacitor.
This I entirely agree with ...
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Old 16th April 2013, 03:18 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by counter culture View Post
All my hi-fi's work just fine. I can't help it if I'm lucky.

I don't tweak things. I just build one thing after another.

The principal need they're built to fulfil is the need to build and make things. Plus maybe the momentary need for the item. If I'm honest though, I don't need 9 headphone amplifiers. Call them experimental prototypes.

I've built radios, speakers, amplifiers, combos, DACs, a turntable and arm, motor controllers, motors, digital meters, a chronograph, flashlights, aeroplanes, helicopters (from kits). A plantpot furnace to smelt aluminum, a coilwinder, a photographic enlarger (reaching back a while now), a colour print tank agitator, a pinhole camera, a waterdrop microscope. Boats, rafts, a steam engine, a miniature cannon (what else are you gonna do with a lathe?) I made the gunpowder and ball for that. One thing I wanted to build, but never got round to, is an internal combustion (piston) engine. I'd have a go at a jet (turbine) too. I've cast bullets and lead soldiers and plaster gnomes in a rubber mould.

If I thought for a while a few more things would come to mind. A bandurria (not too successful). Glass. I made some glass. A chemical garden. A reflux condenser. A Leyden jar. PCBs. A UV lightbox. An acetylene torch with calcium carbide (dangerous). Gun cotton. I'd have made cordite, but I stopped short of the nitroglycerine.

A cotton-reel tank. A jigsaw. French knitting. Crochet. A loom. Cloth (not much). Trousers. A skirt for my sister. Fire. I made fire.
I just played with Lego Technics till I was 18. I also did some ( free-flying)
airplane models. I think that at the end of the games I did put some propellers to the Lego thingies
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Old 16th April 2013, 03:21 AM   #29
Jay is offline Jay  Indonesia
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Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
It may be in the speaker, but unlikely to be the driver itself - IME, ...
Sure. It is the crossover. Box is probably more important, but is easier to work with so rarely an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
What different speakers will do is to highlight different deficiencies earlier in the chain, they add "spice" in numerous subtle combinations, by exaggerating or minimising problems elsewhere ...
Nooo... speaker job is to reproduced AC signal to become soundwave that represents the AC form itself. Imagine what a hard job it is compared to what a source/amp has to do to produce/amplify the "right" signal to become the input for the speaker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Sorry, this doesn't happen for me. Some of the most excrutiatingly upleasant sound I've heard has been through very expensive, highly regarded speakers - I remember one occasion hearing Wilson speakers, MAXX I think, through top of the line MBL electronics - truly dreadful sound.
Hahaha did you listen to them at a hi-fi show?

You may have no problem with your speaker because you don't use complex crossover. And/or your speaker is only 2-way. Actually fullrange is imo the optimum approach in most situations in lower level of sound quality ladder.

If you want more (of the quality aspects such as details, low frequencies and SPL), then you have to pick more challenges. With cheap sensitive fullrange, what you need is simple tube amp, or a class-A amp. And may be a good source. This is one of the popular audiophile "genre". Wilson speakers are closer to this genre.

The MBL on the other hand is from different "genre". The amp you heard probably use an opamp, and it probably have strong drive of paralleled output stage. Do not use it with Wilson. The suitable speaker may be a speaker with many drivers of at least 12" each

Quote:
Originally Posted by fas42 View Post
Wilson is a brand I've heard over and over again where I wish I had brought some ear muffs -- nothing wrong with the speakers per se, but they emphasise every tiny defect earlier on ...
I don't understand what defect. Then do not allow the defect in the source/amp. I strongly believe that recording defect is not the reason why you need some ear muffs.

And it is easier to produce a "perfect" sound if what you need is only 2 Watts SPL. I believe that either MBL and Wilson is designed to produce more than 2 Watts, probably more than what can be produced by your system.
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Old 16th April 2013, 04:05 AM   #30
fas42 is offline fas42  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay View Post
Nooo... speaker job is to reproduced AC signal to become soundwave that represents the AC form itself. Imagine what a hard job it is compared to what a source/amp has to do to produce/amplify the "right" signal to become the input for the speaker.
Straightfoward electromechanical transducer, with minimal opportunity for all sorts of really nasty distortion elements to intrude -- not really hard at all: they hardly bother to show higher order distortion harmonics than 2nd or 3rd when testing because they are so low down in amplitude


Quote:
Hahaha did you listen to them at a hi-fi show?
Dealer, actually ...


Quote:
I don't understand what defect. Then do not allow the defect in the source/amp. I strongly believe that recording defect is not the reason why you need some ear muffs.
Aahh, there's the rub! Easy to say ... very, very difficult to achieve. To me, virtually every system I listen to is "defective", the problems scream at me ...

Quote:
And it is easier to produce a "perfect" sound if what you need is only 2 Watts SPL. I believe that either MBL and Wilson is designed to produce more than 2 Watts, probably more than what can be produced by your system.
Yes, highly efficient speakers are an excellent shortcut. The MBLs are precision powerhouses, the best measurements I've seen at Stereophile for power amps
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