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Old 16th May 2009, 12:28 AM   #5621
gedlee is offline gedlee  United States
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What the Japanese learned about emotional impact was that, in general, it was a fleeting thing. It was not something that was consistant, kind of fashionable. In other words what had an emotional impact today may not tomorrow and that the emotions could be easily swayed by external influences. In short, emotions did not correlate very well with anything real, like handling or noise level, etc. but the superficial things like color and styling and seat material. But its exactly the superficial things that we come to take for granted in the long run and pretty much ignore.

The car company with the strongest customer loyalty is Honda. Now anyone will tell you that Honda cars are about dead last in emotional impact (except the NSX of course!). They do not go in for fashionable styling (more so now than in the past) and they base their designs more on function than aesthetic considerations.

I find that speakers are quite like this. In general, a strong initial emotional impact is very likely to be exactly that which sounds so bad tomorrow, etc. It's the speakers that kind of just sit there without being imposing in any way that end up delighting the most in the long run. Because, it's the music, not the loudspeakers, that bring the real emotion.
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Old 16th May 2009, 04:10 AM   #5622
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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I would wonder about that. There must be some emotional impact before becoming a loyal customer. For me, in cars, it's the features cleverly implemented and arranged in whole that really reaches out to me. For audio, when I was young, the sound and price was an impact; few of which really hit home. Now, it's the overall looks, sound, and value. Really none on the market hits home. The ones that look good are expensive and sound terrible; the ones that sound good, look terrible. To make things more complicated, men and women have different buying habits.
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Old 16th May 2009, 05:16 AM   #5623
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Quote:
Originally posted by gedlee
Yes, I think that there are good terms that have meaning and can be correlated with subjective.

Coloration - pretty clear I think

Dynamics - the ability to play loud and soft passages without audible compressions or any effects which vary with level

Imaging - the ability to clearly define the location of different instruments - the image should be unambiguous, an invarient with level or passage.

Stage width - this is more dependent on the recording and the room and sometimes stage width is in direct conflict with imaging, but its a valid term non-the-less

Spaciousness - the felling of space, the impression of the rooms dimensions. This can be on the recording or in the room itself, but generally the two differnt kinds are quite clearly differentiated, or should be in a good system.

Beyond this I don't know of any terms that have a concrete enough meaning to be useful in any seriuos discussion.

I MIGHT think that "speed" for instance is a combination of low colloration with good dynamics and spaciuosness. This, to me defines good bass. Some have called this "tight bass" when listening to my system. Thank God nobody has said that it was "fast" (to my face!) Most bass that I hear is colored and not spatial at all with poor imaging. Bass should be precisely located as to the player (mostly the attack which is much higher in frequency), but the notes must be uncolored with a long spatial quality of a "hanging" note that is omnipresent - not localised.
In 100% agreement with all of the preceding points. At the risk of stirring the pot, I'd like to add one more subjective quality: Resolution.

Now, let's get one thing out of the way immediately. Most audiophiles, and most of the reviewers I've met, confuse HF tizz and overshoot with resolution, just as inexperienced photographers confuse oversharpening as increased detail. Advanced amateurs and professional photographers look deeper, at rendition of textures, which only large-format media and high-resolution digital files can deliver. They notice the "flat" look and excess edge enhancement as undesirable artifacts of a low-res image that has been overprocessed, and appreciate the near-3D look of an inherently high-resolution image, whether it's a 4x5 Tri-X negative, or a 25 megapixel RAW file with 12-bit depth per color.

The same applies to audio. Recording studio professionals consider it essential that a monitor speaker/amplifier system reliably distinguish between 16, 20, and 24-bit masters, differentiate between different ADC/DAC conversion systems, or different flavors of microphone preamps. A monitor/amplifier that does not discriminate between different quality grades of digital recording is going to have translation issues when the final recording is made. If a monitor/amplifier doesn't let you hear the artifacts of lossy compression, that's a major issue on the recording end.

Audiophiles and reviewers who are used to Red Book as their quality standard are not going to be well-attuned to the subtler qualities of a higher-resolution system, and may seek out electronics and loudspeakers that conceal the limitations of 44.1/16 PCM. My guess is that most of the so-called "advancements" of the Eighties and Nineties in the audiophile world were nothing more than elaborate tone controls to subjectively minimize Red Book shortcomings, aided and abetted by the magazines and retailers shifting their focus to high-margin (90%) audiophile jewelry like cables, dots, suspension gimmicks, et al. A good rule of thumb reading any audio review is to figure out the retail profit margin of the product being touted - it can range from 40% (on the low side these days) to more than 90% (common for the gimmicks).

But I would like to suggest that "Resolution" is still useful, although grossly abused by mainstream audiophiles. Speakers are not the same in this respect, with home-theater-in-a-box at the low end, and the highest rank of professional monitors at the top (although many pro monitors have surprising levels of coloration). Audiophile products, of course, are all over the place, with an awful lot of tizz-and-boom dominating the market, right up to silly price levels of $150,000 per pair of speakers. When you spend that kind of money on a car, at least you get a good car. With audio, there's no assurance of that.
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Old 16th May 2009, 06:08 AM   #5624
xpert is offline xpert  Afghanistan
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lynn Olson


In 100% agreement with all of the preceding points.
... Resolution.

Now, let's get one thing out of the way immediately. Most audiophiles, and most of the reviewers I've met, confuse HF tizz and overshoot with resolution, just as inexperienced photographers confuse oversharpening as increased detail.

Hi Lynn,

In Your original Post #1 You mentioned large scale dipoles. Isn't it so that dipoles tend to emphasize HD and intermodulation due to their working principle? I'm not shure what You experienced when listening to Bastianis or Linkwitz' implementations. From both I never saw data on the item of non linear distortion. Not even S.Linkwitz shows measurements from the finished gear as a whole - as far as I know. The preliminary investigations are of little use. To deploy the drivers in a dipole makes the worse of them. I'm curious what comes out in the end then.

Resolution is associated with low intermodulation to some extend. Is there any trick in sight to overcome the contadiction between "dipole" and "resolution"? Besides sheer size of course.

(slightly back on topic, sorry ;-)

so long
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Old 16th May 2009, 07:25 AM   #5625
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My biggest reservation about any dipole is the EQ boosting many of them require. The dipole portion of the Bastanis is not equalized - and I know, since I was in the room when Gary Pimm connected his amplifier directly to the speaker and the source. The EQ, somewhat counterintuitively, is applied to the self-powered closed-box subwoofer, which runs all the way up to about 220 Hz (as measured by Gary).

The Orion is another matter entirely. No EQ per se for the tweeter, which sees a conventional half-space load, but plenty of EQ for the mids, and most of all, the pair of push-pull woofers. I was expecting lots of distortion from the woofers, considering their moderate area, low efficiency, and massive equalization, but it didn't jump out at me as all that noticeable. And I turned it up louder than most of the people in the room wanted me to, including Siegfried.

Exhibitors are often shocked how loud I listen at trade shows, but all I'm trying to do is get the low-level details above the noise floor of the show - you can't tell much about a speaker if everything below 50~60 dB SPL is lost in rumble from other rooms and crowd noise from the hallways. Typical show demo conditions limit the dynamic range to somewhere between 55 and 95 dB SPL (or less), which is barely AM radio or non-Dolby Compact Cassette fidelity.

The tizz I was referring to in the previous post wasn't so much about distortion, but upper-mid breakup in the midwoofer or midrange driver, and/or ragged HF response at or above 12~15 kHz. Many audiophiles mistake these colorations as "detail" or "resolution". But then they never listen to pink-noise and hear the colorations as the colorations they really are.

On moderately loud sparse-spectrum little-girl-with-guitar or carefully-selected audiophile-flavor blues and jazz (Diana Krall, Jazz at the Pawnshop, et al), a speaker with rough response in the 3~8 kHz region gives an illusion of detail. This illusion completely falls apart on wide-dynamic-range choral or symphonic music, which is why I've been kicked out of demo rooms at trade shows more than once. Kind of spoils the sales atmosphere when a $60,000 $tereophile top-reviewed speaker sounds like tin cans falling down a stairway.
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Old 16th May 2009, 08:05 AM   #5626
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lynn Olson


... When you spend that kind of money on a car, at least you get a good car. With audio, there's no assurance of that.
Does that include Jags and Rolls?
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Old 16th May 2009, 08:14 AM   #5627
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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Lynn,

You may have mentioned it before, but what qualities similar to what speakers on the market today are close to what you are looking for?
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Old 16th May 2009, 10:36 AM   #5628
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None. That's why I (very slowly) design my own. Although it might sound like it, it isn't arrogance - when I designed the Ariel, Amity, and Karna, there was nothing remotely close to them on the market. (Well, you could buy HT speakers that looked the same, but they sounded pretty awful.)

If I completely lost in interest in the project and also came into a bunch of money (or the damn stock market finally recovers to pre-Millenium levels), I'd probably seriously consider the AudioKinesis speakers that Duke makes, or Jean Hiraga's 604's. Those line up with my current tastes.
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Old 16th May 2009, 11:17 AM   #5629
xpert is offline xpert  Afghanistan
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lynn Olson
My biggest reservation about any dipole is the EQ boosting many of them require. .... was expecting lots of distortion from the woofers, considering their moderate area, low efficiency, and massive equalization, but it didn't jump out at me as all that noticeable. And I turned it up louder than most of the people in the room wanted me to, including Siegfried.
The equalization boosts the cone movement and too supraharmonic distortions are emphasized by the inherent amplitude vs frequency characteristic. With dipoles (and cadioids too) all evils are squared as to say.

BTW a "jag" is a FORD nowadays.

I still wonder why I haven't seen any farfeald measurement of a dipole with respect to distortion. Mine - a cardioid - was horrible. 10s of % of 3rd HD when at the same level a closed box, same driver did o/k. And it was not off limits regarding excursion. Perhaps Mr. Geddes is right with his assumption that HD isn't so much of a hassle. Your subjective evaluation might be conformal to the objectivists expectation.

Did You ever try Klein&Hummel monitors? They should be as neutral as can be if used along their specification. Some top models allow time domain optimization with a switch!

so long
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Old 16th May 2009, 11:50 AM   #5630
Rudolf is offline Rudolf  Germany
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Quote:
Originally posted by xpert

I still wonder why I haven't seen any farfeald measurement of a dipole with respect to distortion.
Any interest in the distortion measurements of HH and K+T for some of their dipoles? Its K2, K3 and K5 at 90 dB. Not sure about the distance, but I think 1 m.

Im afraid I could not find one with "10s of % of 3rd HD".
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