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Old 14th April 2013, 12:50 AM   #8581
Ronion is offline Ronion  United States
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Pro sou d drivers have a heavier cone? That seems contrary to design requirements.

Is there some place to get a look at this new speaker from Lynn?

Thanks,

Ron
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Old 14th April 2013, 12:54 AM   #8582
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Anyway, what I think is going on with sigma-delta converters and Class D amplifiers are new types of coloration we can't describe just yet.
This point needs to developed further. There were many times in the history of audio where a new technology sounded wonderful to the first group of listeners, then a few years later more and more people start noticing unpleasant artifacts, and finally discovered what caused the artifacts.

A quick history: the Williamson amplifier in 1947 swept away other circuits for nearly ten years, then stability problems were gradually discovered and resolved with better, more linear, and more stable vacuum-tube circuits.

The first transistor amplifiers of the late Sixties were dreadful circuits with quasi-complementary output stages with inherently high levels of Class AB switching artifacts, poor feedback stability and overall reliability, and serious problems with slew-rate distortion. It took more than ten years for better, more stable, and higher-speed circuits to appear.

The first pro-level digital tape recorder from Sony, the 1630, used the appallingly bad 741 opamps (which are completely unsuited for any kind of audio), with no dither, no jitter reduction, and ran at 44.1/16 PCM. From a modern perspective, the worst digital imaginable. Yet it was the industry standard for submitting a master to the pressing plant for more than five years. (Even the sainted J. Gordon Holt gave the Crown DC300 and Phase Linear 700 amplifiers a top-rank Class A rating, alongside the Marantz Model 9. I subscribed to the original "Stereophile" magazine back in the early Seventies, and remember reading the reviews.)

I should note that all of these technologies were hailed as the "best sound ever" at the time of introduction, with a few naysayers holding back ... and were eventually proven right when measuring technology discovered the problems. It took several years for digital engineers to admit that dither was a necessary part of digital audio, or that jitter reduction was worthwhile. It took more than ten years for transistor-amp designers to admit that slew rates of more than a few volts/microsecond might be a good idea. It took more than five years for the wretched, high-distortion quasi-complementary output circuit to be replaced by full-complementary.

I think sigma-delta converters and the latest Class D amplifiers fall in the same category. It's a new sound, and a lot of opinion-makers and reviewers like it. But I suspect it's the same thing all over again; the troubles of analog are once again shuffled around into a new place, where they won't be discovered right away.

Like Thorsten, I feel the real drivers behind the widespread adoption of sigma-delta converters and Class D amplification is the holy trinity of lower cost, better specs, and ease-of-application. For most audio engineers, those three parameters are the most important aspects of a new design.

Last edited by Lynn Olson; 14th April 2013 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 14th April 2013, 01:01 PM   #8583
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Default tinnitus

Great info, can I ask Lynn a dac tinnitus free ? I and a lot around don't have problem with vinyl... ringing or in /out band noise ?!

thanks
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Old 15th April 2013, 02:42 AM   #8584
jpak is offline jpak  United States
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Sorry about the rather over-the-top description. I find it difficult to describe the subjective sound of my own designs, particularly since I optimize for different subjective qualities than the mainstream high-end.
The detailed response is appreciated and you addressed one of my concerns about most horn systems (I have heard)- the direct "wall of sound" effect.
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Old 15th April 2013, 03:14 AM   #8585
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I suspect that with class d, board layout and component selection play much bigger roles than with more traditional amplifiers. This leads to a wide divergence in their SQ. Whatever the reason, Lynn is right that eventually there flaws will be laid out naked before the world. Off course, there is also the "this is new, therefore it is bad" and vice-versa school of reviewing. Regards
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Old 19th April 2013, 06:52 PM   #8586
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I'd like to point the readers of diyAudio to an article by J. Oppenheim and M. Magnasco in Physical Review Letters, Human hearing beats the Fourier uncertainty principle.

The more experienced listeners beat the Fourier uncertainty principle by a factor of 13(!), which falls well outside the predicted capabilities of the standard hearing models. I strongly recommend this article, which has sound samples so you can hear for yourself what the authors are discussing. The modified samples of the "Casablanca" soundtrack are interesting: destroying the time information makes them completely unintelligible, while destroying spectral information retains intelligibility surprisingly well.

This research undermines the standard models of hearing that have been the basis of digital and lossy-digital designs for several decades, as well as key assumptions about loudspeaker design. I can certainly see implications for noise-shaping algorithms used in sigma-delta and DSD converters, the basic assumptions used in the design of lossy-compression algorithms like MP3, AAC, Dolby Digital, etc., and loudspeaker design, in particular, the effect of horn and front-panel-edge diffraction, and internal reflections inside loudspeaker cabinets.

Remember the comments I made a few pages ago about 1/4" changes in the front-to-back location of the horn being surprisingly audible? Well, here you are.

Last edited by Lynn Olson; 19th April 2013 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 19th April 2013, 07:13 PM   #8587
badman is online now badman  United States
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Interesting!
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Old 19th April 2013, 07:27 PM   #8588
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Lynn,
Though I don't always agree with some of your design assumption this is one that I have also come to the same conclusions long ago. Others seem to discount the phase shift over frequency as being audible and wonder why an accurate sound reproduction can not be achieved. I believe that phase is just as important as frequency response being ruler flat. It amazes me that others discount phase shift as being audible if it is a constant change over the full frequency range. Group delay is just ignored as unimportant to the reproduction system. I do not agree that it is only an issue at the crossover point, I think this has much to do with the loss of accuracy of a reproduced sound field. There are many aspects of design that are looked at this way and that is something that I am actively working to overcome.
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Old 19th April 2013, 07:45 PM   #8589
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Lynn,
Though I don't always agree with some of your design assumption this is one that I have also come to the same conclusions long ago. Others seem to discount the phase shift over frequency as being audible and wonder why an accurate sound reproduction can not be achieved. I believe that phase is just as important as frequency response being ruler flat. It amazes me that others discount phase shift as being audible if it is a constant change over the full frequency range. Group delay is just ignored as unimportant to the reproduction system. I do not agree that it is only an issue at the crossover point, I think this has much to do with the loss of accuracy of a reproduced sound field. There are many aspects of design that are looked at this way and that is something that I am actively working to overcome.
Listening to FR drivers introduced this to me. IF you have any amount of time on them and them switch to traditional multi ways, things become very apparent, in some cases.
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Old 20th April 2013, 08:45 PM   #8590
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Is it allowed to regress from beyond Ariel to Ariel?

I'm sorry if it was asked and answered before, I cannot follow the entire thread.

What is the sensitivity of Ariel and what's the minimum power required in order to enjoy their full potential?
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