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Multi-Way Conventional loudspeakers with crossovers

Do we really belive that the goal is to reproduce live music?
Do we really belive that the goal is to reproduce live music?
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Old 22nd October 2008, 12:29 AM   #21
ShinOBIWAN is offline ShinOBIWAN  United Kingdom
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Listen to electronic music instead of live. There is no useful reference so any questioning is largely irrelevant.

If you want real live music, forget hifi and go pay to be entertained and watered.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 12:38 AM   #22
ShinOBIWAN is offline ShinOBIWAN  United Kingdom
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I didn't even answer the original question in my last post... way to go attention span.

On topic; For me part of the goal is to vainly try and reproduce live music but because of the practicalities and my listening habits then I'm not fastidious. Something that sounds good is good even if its not real would be my moto As has already been alluded to, I don't believe current technology has it in itself to perform this feat anyway so just make yourself happy with the facsimile or otherwise you'll drive yourself nuts and never be satisfied.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 01:14 AM   #23
poptart is offline poptart  Canada
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sdclc126, I think the experiment comparing blind and sighted listening was done in the mid 90s while Toole was at Harman. In the example in the book two large, visually identical but slightly different harman speakers are compared to a competitor's speaker and a well designed sub satellite system. Comparing the sighted evaluations to the blind ones shows the harman speakers got a substantial boost from sighted listeners (I think they mostly worked for harman so brand loyalty and expectations) and the sub satellite system was underrated by sighted listeners (I guess seeing the little speakers set up expectations of cheap or less capable sound).
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Old 22nd October 2008, 01:28 AM   #24
systemerror909 is offline systemerror909  United States
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I'm gonna step out on a limb here, but this is my opinion:

The goal is absolutely not to reproduce live music, but rather to produce an enhanced version of live music. For various reasons, live music is an imperfect goal.

Here are some examples:

This past weekend I went to a jazz bar with some top quality musicians. At the time the only open seats were right in front, probably less than 6 feet away from the trumpeter, who in order to project music into the far reaches of the bar continued to blast my eardrums out. Now, had I been sitting at the bar itself, the volume level would have been much more reasonable, but I would have been far away and had little or no sound staging like I did front and center. By recording such a performance, I could have had the best of both points of view, a wide sound stage and volume control. By recording, the goal is to isolate aspects of the musical performance we find most interesting, and reproduce them in a way than enhances the original experience.

The analogy I'd like to use is to photography, another one of my hobbies. I can take a picture with a normal 50mm lens, or a super telephoto, stopping down the aperture with one lens or leaving it wide open with the other, to create an entirely different perspective as well as select what part of the image is in focus. Neither image however would be more valid than the other, they would both contend to be accurate reproductions of reality.

If we applied the idea of attempting to reproduce live sound to vision, the pinnacle of visual experience would be unaided vision (sorry, no eyeglasses since they may add odd reflections or exhibit chromatic aberrations at the edges of the frames). Yet, we accept eyeglasses and other optical aids as enhancements that often offer a superior point of view than our own unaided vision. While nowhere near a perfect reproduction of actual sight, I strongly enjoy looking through my Leica binoculars (through my eyeglasses of course to correct for my astigmatism). With the binoculars I am able to see things that would otherwise be simply impossible to see. I even enjoy gross distortions when I take pictures with my fisheye lens, because despite the distortion I am offered that unique perspective to the actual event.

Just like photo equipment, audio equipment and recordings can offer it's own unique perspective (which is to be enjoyed) on a particular event. Just like in optics, its important in audio to have what goes in, come out correctly on the other side. A lens with poor contrast is no good, a speaker or dac that doesn't reproduce the intricacies of the event is also no good. On the other hand, a speaker that produces too much bass may be better for rap or electronic music, just as sunset filter might be able to enhance a photo at twilight.

I've heard so much music that sounds better, even over my modest setup than comparable music I've heard live, but this is just my opinion based on my experiences.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 06:25 AM   #25
pelanj is offline pelanj  Czech Republic
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Well said, systemerror909!
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Old 22nd October 2008, 07:21 AM   #26
Cloth Ears is offline Cloth Ears  Australia
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For me, not live music as such. I like the effect of being able to be in the next room and finding it hard to distinguish a recording of an acoustic guitar from a real one, or (at one time in a show many years ago) walking past a room and thinking "They've got Laurie Anderson singing in there!"

I like to think that I am hearing what the combination of artist and production team intended me to hear on the album. Although I'd have to admit that sometimes it's all the production team.
"It is impossible to build a fool proof system; because fools are so ingenious."
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Old 22nd October 2008, 09:18 AM   #27
pacificblue is offline pacificblue  Germany
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Is music reproduction not a lot like a photo? A photo that reminds you of a person you love or a nice place that you like to remember? Or a photo that gives you an impression of a person you have not met or a place you have not been?

While it is not the real thing and can never be that, it brings back memories. Or it gives you an impression of someone or something you didn't know before.

Everybody sets his own goal about music reproduction. For one person the goal may be the most realistic and life-like copy. Others are happy with a portable transistor radio, as long as they recognize the songs and interprets they like. Some people even strife to enhance only certain parts they like most, while not caring much about the rest. Examples for that are boom-cars, where excessive bass is high on the list. Another example are full-range aficionados that care more about the spatial correctness and not so much about realistic frequency response.

And let's not forget about the people, who are only after the best equipment with the goal to show off with it.
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Old 22nd October 2008, 09:24 AM   #28
gainphile is offline gainphile  Australia
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I think SL put it in an excellent perspective:

"The best one can hope for with 2-channel sound reproduction is the illusion of listening into the recording venue. Physics does not allow the accurate reproduction of the original sound field with only two speakers."
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Old 22nd October 2008, 01:39 PM   #29
ptwining is offline ptwining  United States
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Default Thanks all for replies! Here is a follow-on question...

Thanks all for replies! It seems we are all on the same page wrt the aim of our design and build philosophies. I was extremely interested to hear your opinions and experiences.

I have a follow on question as well, related, but not entirely.

I have always enjoyed listening to music and have always either bought or built the best equipment I could afford. As a result I have usually had piles of equipment - separate components, lots of audio interconnects, and a requirement for more than a few AC power-points and cords.

While I haven't found all of that off-putting, I have acknowledged that it is a pain - and renders an audio rig of sufficient quality to please me not only a static installation but also an undeniable *feature* of the space it occupies. That is, it becomes a focus of attention *in and of itself* simply by virtue of it's physical complexity.

In the 70's and 80's that was good - in general people appreciated the *installation* and the fact that it was itself a topic of discussion and admiration. These days, however, the general feeling, mine in terms of life space, and others (outside my audiophile friends) in terms of aesthetics, is less interesting.

So, to cut to the chase (sorry, I realize I am rambling...)

These days we can build integrated devices that incorporate the entire signal chain in a much smaller and unified package - this because of modules like Hypex and PSU's like Coldamp, as well as nice embedded mobo's.

How does the assembled community feel about the integration of digital signal signal sources (including storage and management) housed in single units with the analogue audio side?

A clarification: I despise *rigs* like transporters and squeezy things - unnecessary complication and compromise. I mean a single unit - all in...

I have many more questions - and I am asking them with a purpose - but I don't want pursue this if no-one else is interested.

I realize that this is an incomplete post but perhaps enuff to see if there is interest in the subject.

Thx again for discussing these things...

Best Regards,
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Old 22nd October 2008, 02:26 PM   #30
marcx is offline marcx  New Zealand
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Personally the only music listened through my system that comes close to reminding me of live events is very stripped down rock. Basically solo music, one guy/gal and there guitar.

I've been to numerous venues where friends have played in a very small room to only a handful of people. In my experience it's only this type of setting that could be considered possible to replicate with current audio technology but even then it is unlikely.
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