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Old 25th September 2013, 10:56 AM   #11
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Loudspeaker design matured in the 40's and has went sideways from there. Till lately,,,,,,,we will see.
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Old 25th September 2013, 12:07 PM   #12
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Originally Posted by bentoronto View Post
Does your "yes" mean that you'd really have trouble saying if it was a saxophonist or a recording?
Yes, precisely. I had to go look.

I have an old Denon CD anechoic recording of a symphony orchestra. Playing that back in my room doesn't sound real, it just sounds weird.
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Old 26th September 2013, 11:06 AM   #13
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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"Down the hall" is a less stringent test than in the room.
Then how about sitting in the room and the soundstage locates maybe a performer foot-tapping or calling out cues, outside of the room walls. Expecting that friends have dropped by...maybe turning off the song and walking outside?
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Old 28th September 2013, 05:33 PM   #14
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Then how about sitting in the room and the soundstage locates maybe a performer foot-tapping or calling out cues, outside of the room walls. Expecting that friends have dropped by...maybe turning off the song and walking outside?
Yes, that's a superior test protocol because it uses the sound system as it was designed to be used (rather than listening to the system from down hall... which is not how it was designed to be used).

But in AllenB's specific example, he finds a muffled sound on the recording to be reminiscent of the muffled sound of his friends outside his house. Umm.

I like the down-the-hall protocol because we've all listened to our systems from down the hall. And, at least in my case, not seriously thought "the real thing" was in my music room.

In days of yore, there were a number of renowned live versus recorded tests, some in big halls. That great businessman, Edison, started the concept, so far as I know. Somewhere I read that Edison loaded the dice in some way but I can't remember the revisionist version. Anybody?

Not easy to set up psychology experiments that are beyond criticism. For example, being tested in a sonically unfamiliar environment - without getting people's ears familiarized with it - can be lead to the kind of random choices that are designated "can't tell the difference" (AKA "not statistically significant") between live and recorded. I recall that Toole and the Harmon testers were aware of this issue in their test suite and so had some familiarization, I think.

Thinking of Edison's successful tests of music cylinders leads me to add: anecdotes, especially posted from this sophisticated audience, can illuminate how our sound systems work and are interesting to hear, but only blind tests have validity.

Ben
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Last edited by bentoronto; 28th September 2013 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 28th September 2013, 06:34 PM   #15
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I've been wondering if there is any technology as primitive as loudspeakers. By "primitive" I mean that you can't sit down to design and then produce a system that meets high expectations*.
*When stepping down the hall or into another room, have EVER thought Rene Fleming was singing in your music room? Or even a simple flute or guitar?
Ben,

Sorry, don't recall having heard Rene Fleming singing, but having recorded many artists in my home studio, there have been times when I have mistaken playback for the real thing.

The room, speaker placement and adjacent room all tend to interfere with your "high expectations", even leaving speaker quality out of the picture.

If you could do a (good) ambient recording of Rene Fleming singing in your music room, then play it back through one (good) speaker in the same position, your "high expectations" could be met.

However, since your particular listening room is populated by multiple speakers that are all not time aligned to any point in said room, there is no way you will meet your "high expectations" without sitting down to design and then produce a system that can perform the function that you desire, or purchasing speakers that have been designed with the parameters that would allow your expectations to be met.

Others have had no problem reaching the goal of a good audio representation of the recording- probably better as far at fooling my ears than even a 3-D film or TV in convincing the representation it is reality.

Art
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Old 28th September 2013, 06:34 PM   #16
JZatopa is offline JZatopa  United States
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I think that things have gotten better but in the process we lose some things we used to value. Sort of how Society grows. With that said it seems like we got off track of the design, build, test, redesign process when it comes to building speakers. I have yet to hear a pair of speakers measure great and sound bad. Speakers that measure well in transient response (temporal response), absolute phase and frequency response always sound good. The problem is that speakers that measure bad in some of those areas can still be very enjoyable and have audio aspects one can enjoy. The room interaction is also key but a well designed speaker takes into account the middle range of rooms it will be listened to in the design.

DIY is quickly matching what the big boys were able to do because the tools are now readily available and affordable. We also have the benefit of collective knowledge and the accumulation of knowledge those before us (ie. bell labs) have assembled. Go back 10 years and only a few people owned measurement mics and were really testing drivers and measuring speakers they built themselves. We are on the cusp of a point where CNC and 3D printing will allow the DIYer to design and build speakers even the most advanced speaker builders dream of today. IMO these factors will bring about a revolution in speaker design, here to unseen before.
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Old 29th September 2013, 01:26 AM   #17
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Thinking of Edison's successful tests of music cylinders leads me to add:
As far as I know the famous tests were done with Edison Diamond Disks, not the earlier cylinders. A very different beast. By far the best acoustical playback I've ever heard - they are remarkable.

I believe that Edison taught his artists to "sing like the record" to enhance the illusion during playback.
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Old 29th September 2013, 06:13 AM   #18
AllenB is offline AllenB  Australia
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But in AllenB's specific example, he finds a muffled sound on the recording to be reminiscent of the muffled sound of his friends outside his house. Umm.
I didn't say that. If the information is on the recording I can hear when a drummer rests his foot over the kick pedal, how loose the mechanism is, what type of shoes he's wearing and what the floor surface is made of.
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Old 29th September 2013, 06:53 AM   #19
Rudolf is offline Rudolf  Germany
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I believe that Edison taught his artists to "sing like the record" to enhance the illusion during playback.
That's the point. If you ask "innocent" people, how good a reproduction resembles the live original, most of them will judge the "playback quality" only: whether the musicians sing/play exactly the same notes at exactly the same pace with exactly the same phrasing.
They certainly don't think much about the timbral or reverb differencies.

Rudolf
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Old 29th September 2013, 07:03 AM   #20
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That's the point. If you ask "innocent" people, how good a reproduction resembles the live original, most of them will judge the "playback quality" only: whether the musicians sing/play exactly the same notes at exactly the same pace with exactly the same phrasing.
They certainly don't think much about the timbral or reverb differencies.

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