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Old 11th January 2012, 03:53 PM   #1491
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Originally Posted by matjans View Post
PS: turns out EUR 4 balanced cable beats EUR 40 single ended (coaxial) cable btw.
I'm dreading having to replace my solid silver coax & RCA's with something balanced one day...
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Old 11th January 2012, 04:48 PM   #1492
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Originally Posted by Bruno Putzeys View Post
The companies who are developing NC1200 based products prefer to keep their projects under wraps because announcing new products before they're ready hurts the sales of their current line. I do believe the first NC1200 product will be shown at the CES.
Any announcement as to who it is yet?
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Old 11th January 2012, 04:58 PM   #1493
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I'm more curious about the price range the commercial offerings will fit into
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Old 11th January 2012, 05:08 PM   #1494
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From Bruno's article: "Hi-fi review is a complete shambles. The few magazines that do measure are capable of reprinting the most frightening distortion spectra from amplifiers and actually call them good."

If you think reviews for amplifiers are bad, you haven't seen the radioactive glowing crater for speakers. Time and time again a manufacturer *cough*Wilson*cough* gets praised to the skies while the measurements indicate clearly aberrant frequency response, such as bass up by 8 db, or a midrange hole almost an octave wide, or treble response best described as idiosyncratically ragged.
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Old 11th January 2012, 05:17 PM   #1495
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Is anyone actually taking the hifi-press seriously? Really??
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Old 11th January 2012, 05:21 PM   #1496
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Originally Posted by DSP_Geek View Post
If you think reviews for amplifiers are bad, you haven't seen the radioactive glowing crater for speakers. Time and time again a manufacturer *cough*Wilson*cough* gets praised to the skies while the measurements indicate clearly aberrant frequency response, such as bass up by 8 db, or a midrange hole almost an octave wide, or treble response best described as idiosyncratically ragged.
Hmmm, have you heard them?...
To me its how a speaker sounds (or any other component) that matters. Not the measured frequency response. IMHO frequency measurements are very difficult to get wise on, they are VERY room and setup dependent so what is the reference to compare them too?, -as flat at one place probably isn´t anywhere else... I think the reviewers who praise a product like those of the brand that you cough´ed, probably does so because they like how they SOUND :-)

Measurements can be good, but one needs to be able to interpret them along with other inputs to make them useful.

just MHO of course...
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Old 11th January 2012, 06:45 PM   #1497
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Originally Posted by Juhleren View Post
Hmmm, have you heard them?...
To me its how a speaker sounds (or any other component) that matters. Not the measured frequency response. IMHO frequency measurements are very difficult to get wise on, they are VERY room and setup dependent so what is the reference to compare them too?, -as flat at one place probably isn´t anywhere else... I think the reviewers who praise a product like those of the brand that you cough´ed, probably does so because they like how they SOUND :-)

Measurements can be good, but one needs to be able to interpret them along with other inputs to make them useful.

just MHO of course...
Yes, I had heard them before reading the review. Sure, the low end was terrific, and some other parts were OK, but the overall effect was unconvincing. I've heard much more musical speakers at a fraction of the price. Magneplanars and Martin-Logans come to mind, even though they measure less flat than the *cough* designs, but those graphs make sense with respect to the design (microphones read line arrays as having a sloped-down response when compared with point sources).
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Old 11th January 2012, 06:46 PM   #1498
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A lot of hi-fi reviewing especially in the USA is for products that would comfortably fill an aircraft hanger - 400 watt amps, large 3-way speakers etc. There's a lot of money tied up in that market, but frankly very little of it rates alongside the "first watt" thinking of low power and parts count, as anybody who goes to the really creative "alternative" audio gear shows knows.
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Old 11th January 2012, 06:52 PM   #1499
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Originally Posted by Juhleren View Post
Hmmm, have you heard them?...
To me its how a speaker sounds (or any other component) that matters. Not the measured frequency response. IMHO frequency measurements are very difficult to get wise on, they are VERY room and setup dependent so what is the reference to compare them too?, -as flat at one place probably isn´t anywhere else... I think the reviewers who praise a product like those of the brand that you cough´ed, probably does so because they like how they SOUND :-)

Measurements can be good, but one needs to be able to interpret them along with other inputs to make them useful.
I presume that by "other inputs" you mean additional measurements. After all, nobody would seriously argue that an on-axis magnitude response fully describes what a speaker does. How a speaker sounds is fully determined by the sound field that speaker produces in your listening room in response to an electrical signal (I hope that isn't controversial). If a speaker does something sonically that you couldn't guess from the measurements it just means there's something you forgot to measure.

Frequency response measurements tell most of the story provided that you don't just measure on axis. Of course a large collection of responses taken at various angles becomes difficult to read but luckily you can get a good indication by averaging the response over all angles (horizontal and vertical) to get an idea of what sort of energy it's putting into the room (called the power response). If that doesn't look too funny you know that the room response has some chance of integrating well with the direct sound. Also interesting are responses taken at the angles that bounce back at the listener as first reflections.

If the on-axis response is flat, if the power response is smooth (it may have a slope or a gentle shelf) and if distortion across frequency doesn't do any ridiculous things you can be pretty much sure the speaker is going to give you years of very convincing playback. That doesn't mean that speakers who don't tick all the boxes will sound bad. Frequency response deviations and nonlinear distortion can sound really nice. That is what most sound engineering (mixing and mastering) is about: adding distortion, EQ'ing, compressing and whatnot. It is sometimes thought that audio objectivists presume that all distortions sound ugly. And since that's clearly not true, audio objectivism is therefore supposedly false. Well, no objectivist has ever claimed distortion (linear or nonlinear) necessarily sounds ugly.

They can sound really really nice. But that doesn't mean correct. Just like some amplifiers with loads of distortion add a lot of musicality that wasn't originally there. The trouble with purely subjectivist reviews is that you're essentially at the mercy of the reviewer's taste. If he just runs after that thing which sounds just that bit nicer than the previous thing he liked, he's locking himself into a positive feedback loop searching for the ultimate ear-candy. It's reasonable to expect that the occasional visit to unamplified live sound should keep this in check, but that presumes that the people who record music don't go out and buy the same high-end loudspeakers that the reviewers have just praised all the way to the heavens. But that's precisely what they do, particularly classical music studios and mastering engineers. Unless measurements get given their proper place as a design and evaluation tool, just the way they are in any engineering endeavour, there is no end in sight. Probably the only reason why people think not relying on measurements is somehow acceptable is because it's easy to confuse audio with music. I hate to break it but music is art, and audio is engineering. I don't like engineering to get in the way of art, which is why I think it should be undetectable.

From an audio quality point of view the ideal situation would be where reviews simply established to what degree the product fulfils its requirements. If it changes the sound it's bad, if it doesn't it's good. The longer I'm in this business the clearer it's become to me that measurements and sound go hand in hand provided you strive for the least colouration. If magazines actually reviewed along those lines you would be surprised how rapidly the audio industry would converge on seriously good equipment, both technically and sonically. Really good audio would just turn into a commodity.

But there lies the rub. Audio magazines are not in the business of evaluating kit. They're in the business of selling paper, which they do by expedient of printing things on that paper in order to make it more attractive. Reasonably objective magazines, so far, have either failed or moved into lighter prose and more sparse data. What all of this means is that it isn't in audio journalists' interest to tow the sonically neutral line. You just can't keep filling magazines with reviews of amplifiers that become ever and ever more transparent (and hence identical).

This is not an indictment. It's just logical.

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Originally Posted by acousticimagery View Post
Any announcement as to who it is yet?
I read their press release (which embarrassingly implied the amplifier is digital) and it didn't mention Hypex by name so I suppose that's how they want it. Still, when you bump into it there'll be no mistaking.

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Originally Posted by andyjevans View Post
A lot of hi-fi reviewing especially in the USA is for products that would comfortably fill an aircraft hanger - 400 watt amps, large 3-way speakers etc. There's a lot of money tied up in that market, but frankly very little of it rates alongside the "first watt" thinking of low power and parts count, as anybody who goes to the really creative "alternative" audio gear shows knows.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say. There are probably exceedingly creative ways of boiling water, but that doesn't make all of them worthy of pursuit, bar as an art project perhaps. The "first watt" philosophy is predicated on an outright lie and a fantastically illogical one at that: that products with good performance all the way up to clipping automatically perform worse at 1W than those designed to be good only up to 1W. The minimalist mode of thinking is only partly valid when one refuses to use global feedback. Indeed, in those conditions the fewer stages, the better. In spite of this, even the most arduous minimalist will know where adding a cascode does serious miracles. They may feel vindicated knowing that even "aircraft hangar" amp designers these days have succumbed to minimalism.
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Last edited by Bruno Putzeys; 11th January 2012 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 11th January 2012, 07:02 PM   #1500
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Originally Posted by DSP_Geek View Post
Yes, I had heard them before reading the review. Sure, the low end was terrific, and some other parts were OK, but the overall effect was unconvincing. I've heard much more musical speakers at a fraction of the price. Magneplanars and Martin-Logans come to mind, even though they measure less flat than the *cough* designs, but those graphs make sense with respect to the design (microphones read line arrays as having a sloped-down response when compared with point sources).
I think we are on wave-length then

I haven´t got much experience with mags or logans, though. A friend of mine had a pair of mags many years ago, and they sounded really good on some types of music. The more complex and dynamic material wasn´t to their liking, but natural (not too complex) acoustic material was quite amazing as i remember them

I guess the review you commented was on a W/P or their successor, no?
Of the two cough designs I´ve heard, I clearly preferred the WITT mkII. It sounded very natural to my young ears back then.

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