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Old 6th July 2001, 04:26 AM   #11
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Bill,
Who said anything about parties?
With the exception of the audio club, where food was served, and people frequently talked, all of the above meet your critera, with the exception of light. The fellow who has the regular Friday/Saturday night thing turns out the lights and has electrical tape over the LEDs. In all other cases, the room was light. My buddy and I tease each other about light and whether it matters, but other than that, everything is square.
Maybe people over here just know how to listen to music without dancing.
Besides, even if I'm alone, I regard it as an imposition on the part of a system if I've got to sit on a dime to hear the music. The system should be able to provide a decent image and balance such that you're not required to get out a measuring tape to make sure you're in the sweet spot.

Grey
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Old 7th July 2001, 12:27 AM   #12
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
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As an observing bystander, maybe I can help sort this out. Or add fuel to the flames...
Bill is saying that music can only really be truly enjoyed under the perfect sort of conditions he describes, and if anything is out of place then why bother with trying to get fidelity for everyone.
Grey is saying that smaller drivers have better dispersion at high frequencies, so if you want to achieve good results over a reasonable area use a smaller driver for the high frequencies.
I don't see a conflict here. Different expectations, different solutions. This is the stuff that makes us human.
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Old 7th July 2001, 04:18 AM   #13
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Fuel to the flames, probably. Someone is going to land on me for this one.

Music comes from the heart and mind of the performer/composer. It's intent is self gratification. Bach wrote for himself, not others. Paul Desmond plays for himself, not others. And so it goes.

That we can appreciate the efforts of musicians and artists is both psychological and physiological. The thread that links the listener to the feelings of the artist is a fragile and easily broken thing. Yet, it's attraction is strong; a "weak thread/strong thread" if you will.

The more complex and delicate the artistic offering the greater the need for accuracy in the transmission of the information to the listener.

The point in listening, presumeably, is to go directly into the mind of the artist, to understand exactly what he is doing and, if we're lucky, why he is doing it.

There is nothing that stands in between the mind of the artist and his own mind because the are the same thing. He gets it. It's point A to point A, the perfect straight wire and no gain needed.

Anything and everything that stands in the way of the artist and the listener reduces the meaning/quality/fidelity of it. This process is aural with some tactile ammendments.

All our senses compete for processing "slices" of our mind. Call it multi-plexing if you will. Multi-plexing reduces the ability to focus accurately on a single input.

It's obvious, to me a least, that if we reduce or eliminate the input to our other senses, we can increase the "fidelity" of aural perception.

So, I say, get rid of new or strong aromas, get rid of light, get rid of noise, get rid of shifting thermal gradients. Get rid of anything that causes or mind to timeslice. Focus. Focus. Focus. But, as Yoda said, don't TRY, DO. Then you'll be there, as close to one with the artist as possible. Or, is there more that can be done?

Just exactly how much does the appreciation of music have to do with the instrumentality of reproduction? Is it possible that we have gotten sucked into the pursuit of a red herring with a continuing and unreasonable focus on equipment at the expense of other, more important factors?

Sure, smaller drivers have greater dispersion at high frequencies. And, while back on the subject of equipment, why doesn't everyone that can afford it either tri or bi amplify? It's a hands down winner from EVERY single technical point of view. This should be a "case closed" topic, yet it is not. WHY?

Phew!
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Old 7th July 2001, 06:14 AM   #14
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Bill,
Speaking as one who has a quad-amped system, I couldn't agree more.
As for connecting with the music (and speaking as a musician, myself), I've never been to a classical or jazz performance in the dark. Only on rare occasions have I ever heard rock in the dark. There was always some light, even if just light reflected from the stage. If there's no light in my listening room, to me it's just another reminder that I'm listening to a recording (I generally, but not always, listen with my eyes closed, but of course you're aware of light anyway even with closed lids). My buddy who listens in the dark feels that light is distracting, but I'm not clear why. I've never asked him if his eyes are open or closed in the dark.

Grey
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Old 7th July 2001, 05:44 PM   #15
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Well, there are major and easily verifiable differences in the way that the retina responds to the following situations:

1. Light room, closed eyes.
2. Dark room, open eyes.
3. Dark room, closed eyes.

There is always visual noise. The less light, the more spatially homogeneous the noise seems to be.

So this could be a new line of inquiry for someone. "The signal to noise ratio of the mind and how it affects perception."

I have never been to a venue in the dark either. Imagine the problems. Anyway, part of the concert presentation is visual.

I think I will start an active crossover thread in the next few days. Jump in. If you should start it first, I'll jump in.
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Old 9th July 2001, 03:13 AM   #16
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Bill,
Sorry, forgot to throw something in. I frequently spend large portions of (at least classical) concerts listening with my eyes closed. So, for me, room-light-with-eyes-closed duplicates portions of my actual live music listening experience. The visual aspect of classical concerts is pretty tame--no fog machines, lasers, whatever. So I don't miss much by listening with eyes closed, and it allows me to remove a variable from comparison between live and reproduced. And, somewhat in the same vein you're describing, I hear more of the music if I'm not watching the bows go to and fro, or checking out the pretty cellist.

Grey
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Old 9th July 2001, 03:50 AM   #17
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Glad to hear that.

For all that are following this, I think the following point is in order:

The view of your speakers, the wall behind them and all the other assorted paraphernalia in your room are not relevant to the reproduction of any kind of music regardless of where it is performed. These intrusions are NOISE. Not the kind of noise that most people consider to be noise but noise nevertheless. I don't see how they can be considered anything else.

Noise is something to be gotten rid of. It follows then that listening in pitch black is the only option for serious listening.
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Old 19th July 2001, 03:37 AM   #18
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Thanks vdi_nenna, your comment is most gracious despite your fumblings with grammar.

Actually, I'd be quite worried if everybody liked me.

Tell me, are you one of those people who has to bask in the visual results of his own DIY accomplishments in order to enjoy the music? Do you gaze at your speakers in awe of your own greatness? Or, perhaps you are afraid of the dark.

Let us all know the answers to these nagging questions.
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Old 19th July 2001, 03:57 AM   #19
jam is online now jam  United States
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Food for thought!
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Old 19th July 2001, 05:17 AM   #20
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
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Default Subjective listening

So why do we do DIY? I think there are at least 2 reasons. One is to get the best sound possible, and perhaps the only way to do that is to build the system the way you want it. At the esoteric upper stratosphere of audio, it's probably cheaper to build it yourself. Getting it the way you want will be an iterative process, so plan accordingly.
The other reason is because it's fun to do, and it's something electronic you can build that is actually useful and achievable (don't see many DIY cell phones around).
I happen to fall in the latter camp. I like to look at what I built, but I'm certainly not in awe of my own greatness. My living room with the bay windows and couch will have to do. And if we happen to think it sounds better because we built it ourselves, that's perfectly okay.
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