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Old 26th September 2007, 08:12 PM   #2221
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lynn Olson


You can complain all you want about auto magazines, but this level of writing would never be acceptable in the auto world - the readers would laugh it out of existence. So what's happened to the readers in the audio world? Why do they tolerate this?

Pretty simple IMHO: You compare a mass-market industry with well-established and recognized set of metrics, parameters and technologies with a "niche" industry that is ultimately (still) based on subjective impressions. Even a cursory look of this > 2k posts thread reveals that even those mastering the fine aspects of speaker measurements / acoustics disagree on different aspects and ultimately bring the final argument: "In my experience", "my ears", "my priorities", etc etc etc.

So, in short: apples and oranges, IMHO.

Rgrds,

Florian
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Old 26th September 2007, 08:15 PM   #2222
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lynn Olson
You can complain all you want about auto magazines, but this level of writing would never be acceptable in the auto world - the readers would laugh it out of existence. So what's happened to the readers in the audio world? Why do they tolerate this?
Around these parts at least, I don't think anyone takes them seriously at all. I look at the Stereophile site occaisionally and find the measurements section of the reviews to be the only parts of them with value.

Anyhow Lynn, I have a question re the latest version of your design you posted in post 2120. In the diagram you mention using cotton waste in pillows placed on the right and left sides of the rear of the B and MB drivers. Earlier in the thread you mentioned Gary P enclosing the rear of the drivers completely in a similar manner IIRC. Is the aim to control the backwave in a sort of 'soft, leaky box' (for want of a better term)?
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Old 26th September 2007, 08:59 PM   #2223
mige0 is offline mige0  Austria
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Hi

Quote:
Originally posted by gedlee

Mige0 - AAC really is a much better codec than MP3. Your comparison is not fair or accurate.


Earl, I can't comment on the quality of codecs as I wasn't so interested in dumping the cake yet.

But what I can comment is about Dolby device sound and quality of make in terms if sound output at the end of the pipe.
I know their flaws down to the very bottom, having heavily modified some older units to a grade of even reconstructing the whole optical input, with stunning results both measurable and audible.

Believe me, they really don't have a clue or don't care about the sonic impact of power supply parts selection layout and grounding techniques. All they care for is specs that can be measured and documented on a Neutrik A1 something " good to have " but not sufficient for the task of having flowers in the sound triggering butterflies in your stomach.



Quote:
Originally posted by gedlee

Mige0 - ..... Dolby Labs is a very respectable organization who do first rate work.
You say it....



------------------

BTW this sound experiences as teenager in cinema is highly educational in an unconscious way leading to a lack of taste as a grown up having the money to by your " dream set "

Greetings
Michael
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Old 26th September 2007, 09:01 PM   #2224
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I'm calling the Gary Pimm approach a quasi-cardioid, although it sure is awkward to spell several times in a row. I've heard his system at length, along with Siegried Linkwitz's speakers, which of course are true dipoles.

They sound different - not in terms of timbres, the usual audiophile concern, but in terms of - hmm, how shall I put this - spatial and dynamic qualities. Gary listens in a very small room, and didn't care for the excess liveliness of full dipoles (his starting point). But I found the mids a little closed-in sounding for my tastes - remember, I'm the electrostat enthusiast. But some of the credit or blame goes to the Eminence midbass drivers, which I didn't much care for.

But I have to admit the bass region was a real treat, as good as anything I've heard to this point. It certainly made me think about the sonics of dipole vs quasi-cardioid bass, which do sound different. I guess, for lack of a better word, that quasi-cardioid bass has more sense of weight, of solidity, while avoiding the box colorations of monopoles. And I'd be the first to admit that electrostats aren't at their best when it comes to bass quality.

So in purely subjective terms, my favorites are quasi-cardioid and horn bass, with each having a distinctive quality of their own. That doesn't say a whole lot, I know, and there's certainly enormous room to screw up either.

I do see the fulcrum point of the spectrum as being somewhere around 300~500 Hz, and for several reasons. Perceptually, the ear switches between two different mechanisms, as a result of firing-rate limitations of the neurons, acoustically, as a result of the wavelengths becoming large enough so that the direct-arrival wave starts to merge with the overall room energy, and in spectral-energy terms, where the greatest average spectral energy from the orchestra is centered around 300~500 Hz.

So I have no problem treating the below-500 Hz region differently than the region above it. I think the technical and esthetic requirements are different, and if quasi-cardioid sounds better below 500 Hz and dipole sounds better above, that's OK with me. Much of the reason to build this speaker - some time this fall or winter, I guess - is to experiment with the directivity patterns and see what sounds best.

I have different spatial expectations than most audiophiles, partly conditioned by my early work in quadraphonics. Back in the Shadow Vector days, I spent a lot of time aiming for a spatially coherent reverberant field with no "detenting" or gaps in the coverage. This field isn't part of the actual instruments themselves, it's the space they perform in. Any reasonably normal stereo recording, made with spaced mikes, Blumlein, ORTF, or EMT stereo reverb plates, would play back and fill the room with a uniform spatial field, with instruments localized in front.

I later designed loudspeakers that throw a spatial field of about 120 degrees across the frontal arc, with the instruments typically localized between the speakers (placed 50 to 60 degrees apart). SQ, QS, or EV-4 recordings would localize rear-channel encoded instruments within the larger 120-degree arc, maintaining an accurate correspondence between Shadow Vector or QS decoding, but over a smaller arc.

I still design speakers this way - for accurate spatial projection over a large arc, and with a minimum of phasiness within that arc. Traditional multidriver omni systems, or as they are called now, "bipoles", project a wide spatial arc, but at the expense of phasiness and diffuse localization. Modern home theater speakers typically never throw an image outside the confines of the L/R pair, relying on 5/7 mixdowns to do that for them.

From my perspective, though, HT speakers do not do a realistic job of depth perspective, with flat and paper-thin images, and little or no depth. It doesn't help that multichannel systems using high ratios of lossy digital compression also compress the depth out of the signal - since low-level ambient information looks like noise to the compressor, it gets the same treatment, and the low-level bits end up discarded on the recording-room floor.

Because of my quadraphonic background, I know that speakers that accurately localize 2-channel sound are also the best choice for multichannel mixdowns, with the restriction that a spatially confusing mixdown will also sound that way on spatially realistic loudspeakers. The pasted-together acoustic is readily audible as a constantly-shifting overlay of several different spatial environments.

One simple example - on a spatially realistic loudspeaker, you can easily hear the gain-riding of individual soloist tracks in a symphony, with the bizarre result that the spotlit instrument or singer zooms towards you, does their thing, then zooms back. You can just about see the engineer's hand moving the fader up and down. This zooming is masked on speakers with poor depth rendition (typical studio monitors do not excel at depth reproduction), so it ends up on the final recording.
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Old 26th September 2007, 09:26 PM   #2225
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lynn Olson
[B]




Compare this to the abysmal writing in the Big Two audio magazines or the Web equivalents - the review begins with many paragraphs of an excruciatingly dull navel-gazing psychodrama centering around the reviewer's appalling taste in music, two or three paragraphs lifted from the manufacturer's "white paper" and slightly rephrased, and a hastily-written conclusion that either damns with faint praise - the stab in the back - or puts the component in the "must-buy" category.

Now that is just so on the button and so hilarious! Even with my obsessive compulsive audio fixation I find these magazines downright irritataing to read these days.

A great example of a product which is lauded by the press at the moment ,and which I have heard myself recently, is the Benchmark DAC. How anyone can think the sound of this harmonically threadbare machine is "accurate" is beyond me.

Thanks for the laugh.

Rob.
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Old 26th September 2007, 09:47 PM   #2226
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You think it's bad to read reviews? Imagine writing them - that's worse, I can say from experience.

During my brief stint as a reviewer for Positive Feedback magazine (back in their print days) the only way I could tolerate it was to adopt an intentionally gonzo style, mixing in science-fiction, UFO literature (long before the X-Files TV show), verite descriptions of what the CES was really like, and when I felt like it, a little bit of subjective-speak.

Since David Robinson didn't rewrite the reviews to fit a "style guide", I got away with it - I was appalled to discover all of the "legit" magazine editors quite routinely rewrote all product reviews to fit the corporate "style guide", as horrible as that sounds. Even writing scripts for porno movies would be better - and you probably wouldn't feel as dirty afterwards.

Here's a little sample of David Robinson would let me get away with - this time pretending to discuss the Karna and Gary Pimm amplifiers. I was at a loss to describe something as dull as amplifiers, so I wrote the cinema-noir/science fiction framing device. Some nice passages about Portland, though - I was probably missing it when I wrote the article.
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Old 26th September 2007, 10:09 PM   #2227
dlr is offline dlr  United States
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Default Re: There is one thing to be said for the subjective

Quote:
Originally posted by gedlee


You clearly want to be a producer. I never include the recording in my discussions because it is what it is. Its not my venue to control or manipulate.
I suspect that I'd do a few things differently were I to work that side, but I haven't and won't. However, one must recognize that there may be some ability to adjust the playback for what may be seen as deficiencies in the recording side in some situations. I simply see some playback adjustment as possibly being beneficial in the right circumstances. You obviously don't, so we simply disagree on that point. Again, it would only be useful if the majority of the playback was from recordings such as this.

I have some recordings from the 50's that benefit to a small degree from a bit of extra low end boost. This is not good across the board, but for this music in these recordings, the deficiency in the recordings can be partially corrected. Likewise with some 70's recordings that were engineered for vinyl that have a similar deficiency due to engineering, not technology of the recording side. If these were my primary sources, I'd be inclined to make some small adjustments. Right now I do, but then I'm using the Digital Filter in SoundEasy, so I can change the "design" in minutes and revert again as desired.

Dave
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Old 26th September 2007, 11:11 PM   #2228
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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Default Re: Re: There is one thing to be said for the subjective

Quote:
Originally posted by dlr
I simply see some playback adjustment as possibly being beneficial in the right circumstances. You obviously don't, so we simply disagree on that point. Again, it would only be useful if the majority of the playback was from recordings such as this.
Dave
But its a can of worms. Once you start down the path of manipulating the playback for your own personal tastes where do you stop?

Its either accurate or it isn't. There is no middle ground.
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Old 26th September 2007, 11:51 PM   #2229
Salas is offline Salas  Greece
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert F

A great example of a product which is lauded by the press at the moment ,and which I have heard myself recently, is the Benchmark DAC. How anyone can think the sound of this harmonically threadbare machine is "accurate" is beyond me.

Thanks for the laugh.

Rob.
I had this initial impression about the Benchmark when I listened to it firstly. I.e. Dry sonics. Then by chance I got to listen to it in different studios. It was a chameleon result. Its high resolution was always there but dry vs musical results in different situations put me into thought about mixdowns it was fed and systems/rooms it was feeding. I got a demo unit to my home and tested it with several loudspeakers and headphones. I concluded that it was honest, with unusually 'real' treble dynamics, in a way that it could irritate small faults in the rest of the chain not readily apparent with other sources. I bought one, started a thread here, got to change its sole pair of coupling caps into Auricaps and its digital input caps into SCR tinfoils as the two crucial and conservative tweak upgrades of a multitude proposed, in order not to change the fundamental engineering. DAC-1 helped me locate and tame some stuff in my system that although I could see by measurement, seemed benign subjectively with many other sources. It sounds just as the data fed, it can be gloriously spacious and overtone rich or flat and pinched depending on the recording, and there are many of bad recordings. There are recordings that manage to sound flat even on my full range TB3R mini bipoles with top firing super tweeter, which extract any sound stage data -if recorded- to the fore.
The cap tweaks free it from some component distortion (its built down to a price) but they don't make it into something different. Just purer.
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Old 27th September 2007, 12:24 AM   #2230
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Hi Salas,

You clearly have much greater experience with the Benchmark than I. I have heard it in two different systems neither of which are my own. I think it has potential i.e. there is certainly clarity there and yes the high frequencies sound rather good, but otherwise it sounds like bad solid state to me. I wonder if it could have anything to do with all the cheap ic op-amps in the output stage of this device?

One interesting thing we did do was compare digital leads. There were clearly audible differences despite the manufacturer's claims for Jitter immunity.

Rob.
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