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post #91 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by markwriter View Post

I'd love to hear FileCat's system b/c there has been a lot of time/money spent tuning the room in addition to the money spent on equipment.

You're in AZ. Ever come to SoCal?

Part of the pleasure of doing all this is sharing. The generosity of others helped me get to where I am, including getting to listen to some VERY expensive systems. This helped me avoid a lot of trouble, including spending that kind of money for no apparent (to me) benefit.

OTOH, when I heard a well set up system in a great room, it became obvious what the pursuit of perfection could drive a person to achieve. I was relieved to learn it wouldn't take upwards of $100,000 to even get in the game.

You should see the pain on the faces of some well-heeled acquaintances of mine after they come for a judgmental listen and have to admit I got 120%+ of their performance for 25% or less of their cost. Of course, I did virtually all the work myself and it took me four and a half months.

Your Revels are a great place to be right now. Congrats. There's a lot you can do with that unused equipment (DEQ, etc.) that will help you find their full potential.

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post #92 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

120dB? Nice!


Yes, that was really nice. So when I listen at more normal levels, the system have so much headroom that distortion and compression effects are not an issue. Very nice.

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
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post #93 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by markwriter View Post


I also need to get on the path to measurements -- should I start out with rat shack or plug in something to my pc and go with one of the measurement packages out there? I have a Behringer DEQ 2496 and a ECM8000 mic that I've not even taken out of the box. I suspect there's a whole world of measuring in there. I don't know how accurate the RTA is in that thing, though. I've had those for a long time but have never taken the time to unpack and start twiddling.

1. Download Room EQ Wizard (audio analysis program) for free.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/

2. Use your ECM8000, but if you want accurate HF readings, get it calibrated here:

http://cross-spectrum.com/measuremen...behringer.html

3. Buy this microphone preamp:

http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Mobile.../dp/B0000TP57E

4. Get a mic stand, with a telescoping arm, like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Stage-Spotligh...7372345&sr=1-1

5. Buy a 30 - 50 foot XLR mic cable:

http://www.amazon.com/NADY-XC-50-XLR...7372458&sr=1-5

6. Get an RCA to 1/4 inch phono cable (this one is used to send the test signal to your sound system):

http://www.amazon.com/HOSA-CPR204-Du...7372678&sr=1-6

Total investment: around $150 for very competent sound analysis tool. The Room EQ Wizard software is phenomenal, and there is a large support group on http://www.hometheatershack.com/
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post #94 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Ino audio i32s and Ino audio profundus Y-4. But I will maybe get i64s and profundus Y-8 instead, the will give me over 6 dB more to play with. And I did 120 dB at listningposition today!

I believe these are yours?



Found them while doing a general search on your speakers.
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post #95 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by filecat13 View Post

You should see the pain on the faces of some well-heeled acquaintances of mine after they come for a judgmental listen and have to admit I got 120%+ of their performance for 25% or less of their cost. Of course, I did virtually all the work myself and it took me four and a half months.

Add me to the list of people that would love to hear your system. What was the total cost for the equipment and the room treatments? Got any pics?

If I had a dedicated room, my objectives would be a bit different than they are currently and would probably go with the same choice you did, or perhaps some big Genelecs. But I have my gear in a converted bonus room and I wanted pretty looking + good sound. I'm certain that I could have spent a lot less if aesthetics weren't in the equation.

These are actually pretty cool looking JBLs.



This is also a great looking JBL, and it's the first time I've seen it (LS 80). Hell, it looks better than the Revel sitting next to it, IMO.
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post #96 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 06:38 PM
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Room EQ: is it a slippery slope?
Has is worked for you Tim?

I don't know much about it, but
I do kind of get Linkwitz' comments about it:

http://linkwitzlab.com/frontiers.htm#K
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post #97 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

I believe these are yours?

Found them while doing a general search on your speakers.


Yes, but that is an old picture. I have now Profundus Y-4 (the number after Y is the number of subs in the system) and done more with the acoustics.


Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
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post #98 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

Add me to the list of people that would love to hear your system. What was the total cost for the equipment and the room treatments? Got any pics?

If I had a dedicated room, my objectives would be a bit different than they are currently and would probably go with the same choice you did, or perhaps some big Genelecs. But I have my gear in a converted bonus room and I wanted pretty looking + good sound. I'm certain that I could have spent a lot less if aesthetics weren't in the equation.

These are actually pretty cool looking JBLs.

I've been told my little Web site and IE 8 don't play well together, so you might want to try Firefox if it doesn't look right, but you can get some idea of the process here.

http://web.me.com/dougsemark/JBL_Syn...a/Welcome.html

I was lucky to have a room with no windows and partially underground to work with. That also limited certain things, since foundation footers, load bearing walls, and earthquake shear walls kept me from expanding the room into adjacent unused space. The philosophy was pretty basic, make it sound right, then make it look presentable (if possible).

The room has a vastness to it that belies its 2,200 cubic feet. This really became apparent when the front the front wall was covered in acoustical panels ranging from 1" to 4" thick. Then the diffusers definitely expanded the space, while the bass traps in the back helped keep those darn subs under control.

When the lights first go out, you honestly cannot see anything but the screen up front, and that adds to the sense of space.

The SAM1HF units are much like the HF units on the Arrays in your pictures, but they have upgraded drivers, more robust (but boring) enclosures, and of course no internal crossovers.

The SAM2LF units underneath have two of the heaviest 8" drivers I've ever held. They're rigid Al cones. At something like 97 dB sensitivity, they really pack a punch.

It's hard to quantify the S1S-EX subs, except to say that 18" moves a lot of air. Without the three ports, I think the enclosure would explode when that driver really kicks in.

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post #99 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 07:17 PM
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Wow, that JBL IS purrrrrty! I wonder what it sounds like?

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post #100 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Yes, but that is an old picture. I have now Profundus Y-4 (the number after Y is the number of subs in the system) and done more with the acoustics.


I see you have your subs adorned with dark looking sculpture. Homage to the death metal Gods?
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post #101 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

I see you have your subs adorned with dark looking sculpture. Homage to the death metal Gods?


Off course, someone needs to watch over them
But I think I will get 4 more subs, so I have Profundus Y-8. Then we can talk very serious business

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post #102 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mpmct View Post

Room EQ: is it a slippery slope?
Has is worked for you Tim?

I don't know much about it, but
I do kind of get Linkwitz' comments about it:

http://linkwitzlab.com/frontiers.htm#K

Well, yes, I suppose it is. I've gotten very mixed results from auto EQ (Audyssey). But I've realized an overall improvement with the manual 5-band PEQ per channel in my current prepro. With Audyssey, I really had to monkey around with the mic positions to get something that sounded acceptable. The Audyssey measurements after EQ looked as flat as a pancake, yet, it clearly did not sound flat. There was too much subjective upper bass and too much lower treble. It did fill in the lower midrange nicely though.

And I don't care what anyone says, if you had heard what Audyssey did to the upper bass in my system, you would not say that it was more accurate and that I just need to get used to it.

With the manual PEQ, I started by flattening the response, allowing for a gentle roll-off in the upper treble, just like Audyssey does. Then with the flat response as my foundation, I tweaked the filter levels by ear while listening to a variety of music. I can say this, the end result was not perfectly flat FR measured at the listening position. For instance I had to remove a 3dB EQ boost I had made in the midbass. Even though there is a dip in the midbass FR, there is also extended decay in that region. So the boost made the FR look flat, but it made the sound muddy. I still haven't totally nailed down the problem in the midbass, but I'm going to take another stab at it when I get some vaca time.
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post #103 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by markwriter View Post

I will try that. Unfortunately I can't get perfectly in the corner as there is a potted plant there.

I also need to get on the path to measurements -- should I start out with rat shack or plug in something to my pc and go with one of the measurement packages out there? I have a Behringer DEQ 2496 and a ECM8000 mic that I've not even taken out of the box. I suspect there's a whole world of measuring in there. I don't know how accurate the RTA is in that thing, though. I've had those for a long time but have never taken the time to unpack and start twiddling.

I would suggest ARTA, free version is full functioning, you just can not save measurements. ARTA isnt easy to setup though but once you are its great to run FULL range analysis. I love to tweak and see the speaker response changes instantly.

Also there is a brand new piece of software called HOLMImpulse

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...hreadid=144984

Out of all of the packages I own (I own many), it was the easiest to get running and measuring. Geddes just posted on the DIY forum

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Originally Posted by gedlee View Post

The software is very accurate and he uses the state-of-the-art techniques, which is why I like it and use it. It's the first new software for measurements that I have used in almost twenty years (I have Spectra-plus as well). None of the software programs have graphics that I like so I just export the data into other programs for that. But the basic data aquisition and calculation is essential and Ask gets that all correct.


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post #104 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Yes, but that is an old picture. I have now Profundus Y-4 (the number after Y is the number of subs in the system) and done more with the acoustics.

I like the drapes! And if the speakers sound as good as they look, they must be gorgeous.

What I can afford, when I can afford it...
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post #105 of 496 Old 07-18-2009, 11:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I would suggest ARTA, free version is full functioning, you just can not save measurements. ARTA isnt easy to setup though but once you are its great to run FULL range analysis. I love to tweak and see the speaker response changes instantly.

Also there is a brand new piece of software called HOLMImpulse

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...hreadid=144984

Out of all of the packages I own (I own many), it was the easiest to get running and measuring. Geddes just posted on the DIY forum

What do you think of REW?
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post #106 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

What do you think of REW?

Its great for Subwoofer measurements but not for full range

I like ARTA the best (so far) for full range since I can send a constant full range pink noise and watch the measurements change as I tweak any speaker. I have active mains so this helps a lot in knowing what is happening in room with very small changes.

I care about speaker and room interaction then just speaker measurements though so Im well aware that the room can have a huge impact on speakers.

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post #107 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by filecat13 View Post

I like the drapes! And if the speakers sound as good as they look, they must be gorgeous.


The drapes are there for sound but are good to have to minimize reflection from the projector too. Yes, I have not heard anything I would change my set-up against, so I'm pleased.

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
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post #108 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

Its great for Subwoofer measurements but not for full range

I like ARTA the best (so far) for full range since I can send a constant full range pink noise and watch the measurements change as I tweak any speaker. I have active mains so this helps a lot in knowing what is happening in room with very small changes.

I care about speaker and room interaction then just speaker measurements though so Im well aware that the room can have a huge impact on speakers.

Hmm. What is it about REW that you feel is not up to the task for full range measurements? I use it for that and the results are consistent with ETF that the acoustician used to measure my room.

BTW - REW also includes a real-time spectrum analyzer and a sound generator that includes two continuous pink noise signals, an adjustable sine wave tone generator, white noise and three sweep tones. So you can do with REW what you have described you are doing with ARTA.
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post #109 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

1. Download Room EQ Wizard (audio analysis program) for free.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/roomeq/

2. Use your ECM8000, but if you want accurate HF readings, get it calibrated here:

http://cross-spectrum.com/measuremen...behringer.html

3. Buy this microphone preamp:

http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Mobile.../dp/B0000TP57E

4. Get a mic stand, with a telescoping arm, like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Stage-Spotligh...7372345&sr=1-1

5. Buy a 30 - 50 foot XLR mic cable:

http://www.amazon.com/NADY-XC-50-XLR...7372458&sr=1-5

6. Get an RCA to 1/4 inch phono cable (this one is used to send the test signal to your sound system):

http://www.amazon.com/HOSA-CPR204-Du...7372678&sr=1-6

Total investment: around $150 for very competent sound analysis tool. The Room EQ Wizard software is phenomenal, and there is a large support group on http://www.hometheatershack.com/

Wow, thanks -- an itemized list makes it a lot easier to size up what I'd need. I'll keep this and see if I can't put it into action ASAP.
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post #110 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 10:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by filecat13 View Post

You're in AZ. Ever come to SoCal?

Part of the pleasure of doing all this is sharing. The generosity of others helped me get to where I am, including getting to listen to some VERY expensive systems. This helped me avoid a lot of trouble, including spending that kind of money for no apparent (to me) benefit.

OTOH, when I heard a well set up system in a great room, it became obvious what the pursuit of perfection could drive a person to achieve. I was relieved to learn it wouldn't take upwards of $100,000 to even get in the game.

You should see the pain on the faces of some well-heeled acquaintances of mine after they come for a judgmental listen and have to admit I got 120%+ of their performance for 25% or less of their cost. Of course, I did virtually all the work myself and it took me four and a half months.

Your Revels are a great place to be right now. Congrats. There's a lot you can do with that unused equipment (DEQ, etc.) that will help you find their full potential.

thanks for the offer -- we don't get out much at all given we have 5 kids under the age of six. But if I do...

I think what you're hitting on is that it takes personal work in order to get above average sound. Most people - myself included - think all the work is over after we order the equipment.
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post #111 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I did an informal test last night to see if the EQ I've been applying to some of my music was due to the recording or my speakers.

I have a Harman Kardon / Lexicon sound system in my car that I believe was tuned specifically to the cabin of the car for flat frequency response. I'm not completely certain of this, but I do know that the system was tuned to the cabin and knowing Harman's predisposition for flat response, I assume that this would be their goal.

So I burned a disc of 13 music tracks that I felt sounded a bit rolled off in the treble on my home sound system and played them back on my car's sound system. Sure enough, all of these tracks sounded a bit dark on the car system too and it took turning up the treble control in the car to +5/10 to get the music to open up.

I've only come across a handful of discs in my collection that sound this way so far, but I think this is a good example of how you can have accurate speakers and still be subjectively dissatisfied with the sound on some recordings. And of course, when I hear a few of these in a row, my perfectionist / pessimistic mind typically jumps to the conclusion that my system / speakers are lacking. Without knowing how the music is supposed to sound, it is an easy place to end up.
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post #112 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the offer -- we don't get out much at all given we have 5 kids under the age of six. But if I do...

I think what you're hitting on is that it takes personal work in order to get above average sound. Most people - myself included - think all the work is over after we order the equipment.

Glad to help. Keep in mind that the even though the ECM8000 is an omni mic, it still has rather directional response and you want to make sure you have it oriented the same way that it was positioned for the calibration. I have two calibration files--one for horizontal orientation, and the other for vertical. Horizontal gives you the most accurate response in the 10-20KHz range. When the mic tip is up, these frequencies are so small that they can skim right over the top of the mic element. However, if you are measuring the combined speaker / room, you will want to have the mic at about a 60-70 degree angle. You'll lose some HF accuracy, but this orientation is better at capturing the reflected sound.
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post #113 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hifisponge View Post

And of course, when I hear a few of these in a row, my perfectionist / pessimistic mind typically jumps to the conclusion that my system / speakers are lacking. Without knowing how the music is supposed to sound, it is an easy place to end up.

I think that happens to all of us...or at least common sense tells us it should. When it does, I throw on something that is very well recorded and my doubts vanish as the hair on the back of my neck stands up and a huge smirk appears on my face. Those moments are priceless to any music lover!

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post #114 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

I think that happens to all of us...or at least common sense tells us it should. When it does, I throw on something that is very well recorded and my doubts vanish as the hair on the back of my neck stands up and a huge smirk appears on my face. Those moments are priceless to any music lover!

But ... it leaves us with Tim's initial post then ...
Do I have to listen to only the very best recordings
in my collection, or can enjoy ... music, music that I like,
even if it happens to be an average or lesser recording?
If yes, is there any way I can maximize the experience
of the lesser recordings, for my benefit?

My rant is as follows ...

First, they took our bass and treble knobs from us, along
with the loudness button. All for the sake of audio 'purity'.
What's 'pure'? Which recording, even among the very best?
EG: I have many Herbie Hancock recordings, most of which
I would classify as 'very good', or better. At least one of them
( Gershwin's World ) is so bass-heavy as to be annoying, by contrast
with all his other recordings I happen to own.
Thankfully, iTunes simple and brute force EQ allows me to push back the bass
on that recording, lock in the settings, and at least enjoy it.
Sure, it's not 'pure' then, but I would argue that in fact it never was,
and no recording possibly could be. Unless we have a hard and fast
definition of 'pure'. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that
definition though.
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post #115 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Feel free to argue this opinion, but one thing that shouldn't happen except with that very rare, really poorly recorded disc, is a "harsh" sound. My thinking is that even if the engineer was going for bright, or punchy, or something intentionally showy, I doubt they ever wanted it to sound unpleasant. Well unless you are into some really raunchy punk or black metal.

My point being that we also shouldn't be too quick to assume the recording is at fault either. I've read on several occasions that high-end speaker "X" is "unforgiving" of poor recordings, and that this comes with the territory with highly accurate speakers. I don't think this is necessarily the case. I've owned some speakers that I thought were well-engineered that left me wondering WTF the recording engineer was thinking, when I now believe that it was really some form of distortion in the speaker adding to the problem.
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post #116 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 04:30 PM
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Get as good and neutral speaker as possible that have little distortion and use a EQ

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
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post #117 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpmct View Post

But ... it leaves us with Tim's initial post then ...
Do I have to listen to only the very best recordings
in my collection, or can enjoy ... music, music that I like,
even if it happens to be an average or lesser recording?
If yes, is there any way I can maximize the experience
of the lesser recordings, for my benefit?

My rant is as follows ...

First, they took our bass and treble knobs from us, along
with the loudness button. All for the sake of audio 'purity'.
What's 'pure'? Which recording, even among the very best?
EG: I have many Herbie Hancock recordings, most of which
I would classify as 'very good', or better. At least one of them
( Gershwin's World ) is so bass-heavy as to be annoying, by contrast
with all his other recordings I happen to own.
Thankfully, iTunes simple and brute force EQ allows me to push back the bass
on that recording, lock in the settings, and at least enjoy it.
Sure, it's not 'pure' then, but I would argue that in fact it never was,
and no recording possibly could be. Unless we have a hard and fast
definition of 'pure'. I'm not holding my breath waiting for that
definition though.

Yes, indeed. Thanks for bringing it full circle. I was going to make a similar point, but I feel I'm starting to sound a bit like a broken record on the subject of EQ.
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post #118 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

Get as good and neutral speaker as possible that have little distortion and use a EQ

Right. And to beat the same old drum from this
corner, you would have to consider line-level x-overs then.
Compared to distortion levels of modern DACs, preamps,
and amps, the real potato in the tailpipe is the passive x-over
preceding the transducers. Now, I'll duck and cover.
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post #119 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm on a roll today . . .

There was another issue I wanted to bring up. The distance you sit from your speakers and how close the speakers are to the nearby walls.

It's pretty much common knowledge that if you place your speakers close to nearby walls the bass frequencies are reinforced, so if you were limited to near-wall placement, you will not get accurate in-room results from a speaker that has flat anechoic bass response. Some speaker makers will factor what they think the intended use of the speaker will be and adjust the anechoic response as needed to compensate. Linn does this with the bass response of most of their speakers. They intentionally employ a gentle roll-off in the low frequencies because they expect the speakers to be placed close to the front wall. Compare a Linn speaker to one that is going for flat anechoic response and it will look like an under-performer when it really isn't. It could be the right speaker for the job if you don't have a lot of space to work with.

The thing that seems to be rarely talked about though is how distance you sit from a speaker affects the high frequency balance. Frequencies above above about 5Khz don't have a lot of power behind them and they are directional. The lack of power means that as you get farther from the source they drop in level simply due to the resistance of the air in the room. And because high frequencies are directional, there tends to be less reflected energy as compared to the mids and especially the bass. So if a speaker was measured to have flat treble response at the typical 1 meter measurement distance, if you sit say, 12 feet from your speakers like I do, they are probably going to sound a bit soft (unless you like a rolled off treble). In my readings, it is said that some of the in-room bass lift and treble droop is considered to be desirable, but it could be said that if you sit a further from your speaker than the typical 8 feet, you may want a speaker that has a lifted treble so that the sound is balanced by the time it reaches you, no?
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post #120 of 496 Old 07-19-2009, 05:45 PM
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Linn: So yet another variable in the world of lotsa' variables?
What bread does one eat, what wine does one drink?
( And what were those guys smoking who EQ'd that atypical
Herbie Hancock recording. )

More drum beating, but reminds me of what Linkwitz wrote
regarding reference earphones ...

"SHURE E2c Earphones

In my ongoing investigation of reference quality transducers I came across the Shure E2c earphones ..."

... The E2 has been discontinued but this model is still sold as the SCL2 in-ear monitor for musicians. The whole E-line has been replaced with a new line where each model has individual "sonic signatures" to suit different tastes. That is not what I would want to hear."

So to speak.
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