Speaker accuracy. What is it and do you really want it? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
syd123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: mid-atlantic region of US
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 34
Speaker accuracy. What is it and do you really want it?

It seems like one of the worst insults to be made about a particular speaker or brand (and it's been said about nearly all of them) is that it is "too bright". Often, the person mentions how listening to the speaker for extended periods became fatiguing and/or headache inducing. ..This got me wondering. What is accuracy and do people really want it in a speaker? I do, but I'm not sure most do.

I've grown up playing and listening to live acoustic music. To my ears, REAL music can indeed be grating and fatiguing. Violins, trumpets, flutes, etc.. are all beautiful instruments, but if you listen to them long enough, or from too close a distance (ie., too lound on a hifi) you WILL find them to be fatiguing. Ask a music teacher. If this is not happening on your system, then it's hard to imagine how it could be considered accurate.

One could seek out a speaker that softens the treble (Vandersteen being one example. ..Not a dig! I owned 3A Sigs for years and loved them), but the downside is that the well-recorded music won't have the same impact and vibrancy.

The solution, IMHO, is to buy a pre-amp or processor that allows you to easily contour music while listening. The best solution may be a room-correction system, but a far simpler and way is to seek out a pre-amp or processor with basic Bass and Treble controls. If you're listening to music that sounds right, leave them flat. ..But if you cue up a recording that's a bit hot, then dial down the treble a notch. Voila! ..I'll never understand why people try to tailor their systems with different cables, DAC's etc. while at the same time eschewing tone controls.

What is accuracy to you?
syd123 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 11:55 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Saturn94's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 365
Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

Speaker accuracy. What is it and do you really want it?

It seems like one of the worst insults to be made about a particular speaker or brand (and it's been said about nearly all of them) is that it is "too bright". Often, the person mentions how listening to the speaker for extended periods became fatiguing and/or headache inducing. ..This got me wondering. What is accuracy and do people really want it in a speaker? I do, but I'm not sure most do.

I've grown up playing and listening to live acoustic music. To my ears, REAL music can indeed be grating and fatiguing. Violins, trumpets, flutes, etc.. are all beautiful instruments, but if you listen to them long enough, or from too close a distance (ie., too lound on a hifi) you WILL find them to be fatiguing. Ask a music teacher. If this is not happening on your system, then it's hard to imagine how it could be considered accurate.

One could seek out a speaker that softens the treble (Vandersteen being one example. ..Not a dig! I owned 3A Sigs for years and loved them), but the downside is that the well-recorded music won't have the same impact and vibrancy.

The solution, IMHO, is to buy a pre-amp or processor that allows you to easily contour music while listening. The best solution may be a room-correction system, but a far simpler and way is to seek out a pre-amp or processor with basic Bass and Treble controls. If you're listening to music that sounds right, leave them flat. ..But if you cue up a recording that's a bit hot, then dial down the treble a notch. Voila! ..I'll never understand why people try to tailor their systems with different cables, DAC's etc. while at the same time eschewing tone controls.

What is accuracy to you?

For me accuracy would mean the speakers are just putting out what's on recording without alteration. I agree there's nothing wrong with tweeking the sound to your liking.

Saturn94 is offline  
post #3 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 01:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chikoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Good post Syd123.
For example, Def Tech speakers are considered "bright", but that is needed in order to listen to sound effects sitting 10-15 feet away as if they were occuring 6 inches away from you. Example: the sound of sand grains being rubbed by the shoes of a person walking on an asphalt road. They get clearly reproduced on the Def Tech. But is that reality? Can a person really hear such sounds in real life? Unlikely. unless the person has their ear right next to the shoe
chikoo is offline  
post #4 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 01:09 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chikoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

For me accuracy would mean the speakers are just putting out what's on recording without alteration....

Which we will never know.
chikoo is offline  
post #5 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 01:15 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Saturn94's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 365
Quote:
Originally Posted by chikoo View Post

Which we will never know.

Very true. So in the end, if you don't like how it sounds unaltered, tweek away to your liking.

Saturn94 is offline  
post #6 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 01:53 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
ccotenj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: the toxic waste dumps of new jersey
Posts: 21,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

I've grown up playing and listening to live acoustic music. To my ears, REAL music can indeed be grating and fatiguing. Violins, trumpets, flutes, etc.. are all beautiful instruments, but if you listen to them long enough, or from too close a distance (ie., too lound on a hifi) you WILL find them to be fatiguing. Ask a music teacher. If this is not happening on your system, then it's hard to imagine how it could be considered accurate.

i think that's a gross overgeneralization and an unsupported leap of logic...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

ccotenj is offline  
post #7 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 01:55 PM
AVS Special Member
 
kiwi2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 144
I like my speakers to be "accurate" in an organic natural way. I do like treble with plenty of detail yet at the same time in a smooth clean way. No sibilance or harshness. A midrange with a sense of warmth helps with the organic natural fell too I think.

Such a speaker to me helps with the illusion that you are listening to the performers in your room, rather than you are listening to some speakers.
kiwi2 is offline  
post #8 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 01:57 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chikoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
to answer your original question and the recommendation of most professionals to hear what the director/producer/recording company intentions while recording the sound track, we would need to buy the exact AV gear they used. All other AV gear would be meaningless because as I have found out, everything in the food chain makes a difference to how the sound is reproduced. Tube or Solid-state. 14awg or 24awg wire, HK or Yamaha, B&W or Klipsch. The permutations and combinations are endless and therefore impossible to nail down.
chikoo is offline  
post #9 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 01:57 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chikoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

i think that's a gross overgeneralization and an unsupported leap of logic...

Please qualify your one liner please.
chikoo is offline  
post #10 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 01:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chikoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

I like my speakers to be "accurate" in an organic natural way. I do like treble with plenty of detail yet at the same time in a smooth clean way. No sibilance or harshness. A midrange with a sense of warmth helps with the organic natural fell too I think.

Such a speaker to me helps with the illusion that you are listening to the performers in your room, rather than you are listening to some speakers.

The funny thing is I have listened to singers in the same room, unplugged, and it is not as close to the experience you describe. YMMV.
chikoo is offline  
post #11 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 02:46 PM
Newbie
 
Duckman1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I certainly appreciate all the effort that everyone makes to get to the golden fleece of the totally accurate speaker. But it appears to me that we are only measuring one side to the musical equation. I know this is super-oversimplified, but I have seen literally thousands of posts discussing FR, warm analog sound, 'air', etc, etc... but I do not recall one person ever discussing having their hearing measured. Does it not follow that a perfect speaker heard by imperfect ears will yield an imperfect sound? That ears that measure the same might hear the same speaker in a very similiar manner?Example: I have have some high frequency hearing loss due to too much time around Air Force jets... so my Def Tech 30's sound pretty good in the higher registers because of their measured brightness. A perfectly flat measuring speaker would, in all likelyhood, sound less than perfect due to my hearing issue.

I am not trying to disparage 'golden ears', but I know that I would find it it very interesting to see DBT speaker shootouts where we have the listeners hearing charts as a part of the test.
Duckman1 is offline  
post #12 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 03:17 PM
AVS Special Member
 
commsysman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,275
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
Liked: 253
Speaker accuracy is freedom from distortion; period; the ability to precisely reproduce the input to the speaker.

I have had Vandersteen 3A speakers for 20 years, and I find them to be as accurate as there is, except for the very low bass. If you found that they "soften the treble", I would suggest that the amplifier you were using may have had that effect in combination with them. For best accuracy, they need a very low impedance high-power amplifier (99% of which are solid-state). Almost all of the vacuum-tube power amplifiers that some people like to use with them certainly have that effect (softening the treble), and that is why I don't use one.

I am using an Audio Research LS-26 preamp and a Bryston 3B-SST power amplifier, and I find the sound very accurate, with no such softening. I regularly attend LA Philharmonic concerts and have heard Itzhak Perlman and Jascha Heifetz and a number of pianists perform live over the years, and I think I have a pretty good idea what the live sound of the music sounds like.

"Brightness" in a speaker can come from poor-quality tweeters or midrange drivers, but it can also be caused by impedance variations in the speaker. It can either be distortion, or just excess output at certain frequencies. It is also hard to separate the amplifier distortions from what the speaker is doing. That is why reviewers will often listen to a speaker using flawless ultra-expensive amplifiers at the beginning of a review; so they know that ANY distortion or "brightness" they hear at that point is almost certainly coming from the speaker (not the amplifier).

Many speakers have an impedance peak of 15 to 20 ohms in the upper midrange or treble region, and this will cause the output to be too high in this frequency region, especially if paired with an amplifier that does not have a low enough output impedance to minimize this problem.

Music teachers (rofl...the long-suffering martyrs) have to listen to some awful noises emanating from instruments. The recordings of great professional musicians are quite free from such clinkers, thank goodness! That is not really relevant to the discussion. I don't think most of us listen to recordings of music lessons.



Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

Speaker accuracy. What is it and do you really want it?

It seems like one of the worst insults to be made about a particular speaker or brand (and it's been said about nearly all of them) is that it is "too bright". Often, the person mentions how listening to the speaker for extended periods became fatiguing and/or headache inducing. ..This got me wondering. What is accuracy and do people really want it in a speaker? I do, but I'm not sure most do.

I've grown up playing and listening to live acoustic music. To my ears, REAL music can indeed be grating and fatiguing. Violins, trumpets, flutes, etc.. are all beautiful instruments, but if you listen to them long enough, or from too close a distance (ie., too lound on a hifi) you WILL find them to be fatiguing. Ask a music teacher. If this is not happening on your system, then it's hard to imagine how it could be considered accurate.

One could seek out a speaker that softens the treble (Vandersteen being one example. ..Not a dig! I owned 3A Sigs for years and loved them), but the downside is that the well-recorded music won't have the same impact and vibrancy.

The solution, IMHO, is to buy a pre-amp or processor that allows you to easily contour music while listening. The best solution may be a room-correction system, but a far simpler and way is to seek out a pre-amp or processor with basic Bass and Treble controls. If you're listening to music that sounds right, leave them flat. ..But if you cue up a recording that's a bit hot, then dial down the treble a notch. Voila! ..I'll never understand why people try to tailor their systems with different cables, DAC's etc. while at the same time eschewing tone controls.

What is accuracy to you?

commsysman is offline  
post #13 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
syd123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: mid-atlantic region of US
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

"Brightness" in a speaker can come from poor-quality tweeters or midrange drivers, but it can also be caused by impedance variations in the speaker. It can either be distortion, or just excess output at certain frequencies. It is also hard to separate the amplifier distortions from what the speaker is doing.

You may be right that some speakers are themselves inherently bright, but the point I'm making is that sometimes it is the MUSIC itself that is bright. ..And a good accurate speaker will reveal this truthfully. So if one takes the position that they will seek out a speaker that is NEVER bright sounding, then they will end up with a speaker that is not necessarily accurate and as such, they will at times be missing out on some of the performance. ..And that is fine if that is their preference.
syd123 is offline  
post #14 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 04:58 PM
Member
 
John1400's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 23
[quote=syd123;21914953]You may be right that some speakers are themselves inherently bright, but the point I'm making is that sometimes it is the MUSIC itself that is bright. ..And a good accurate speaker will reveal this truthfully. So if one takes the position that they will seek out a speaker that is NEVER bright sounding, then they will end up with a speaker that is not necessarily accurate and as such, they will at times be missing out on some of the performance. ..And that is fine if that is their preference.[/QUOTE

I have to agree with syd, I think he makes alot of sense.

Good job syd!
John1400 is offline  
post #15 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 04:59 PM
AVS Special Member
 
buzzy_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,472
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 48
A couple things to keep in mind ...

- Speaker accuracy rarely survives being put in a real room.

- But you can help it a lot with good placement and a room that's not too challenging. (Eg, hard surfaces in the wrong places.)

- As far as I've seen, the vast majority of people who complain about speakers - eg, too bright, etc - never gave much thought to the placement or the room. Nope, it's the speakers, they're sure. The engineers who made them just made them real wrong. (They're wrong.)

- As far as what people want, clearly the answer is most don't care. Most want something that sounds good, or just want to hear the music that's playing. Some want euphonic inaccuracy, like tube or vinyl. Some care.

- The idea that you can't ever get anything close to what the recording was meant to sound like is of course ridiculous. But keep in mind that most recordings aren't created to sound like a live performance.
buzzy_ is offline  
post #16 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 06:24 PM
Member
 
John1400's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 23
QUOTE=buzzy_;21915106]A couple things to keep in mind ...

- Speaker accuracy rarely survives being put in a real room.

- But you can help it a lot with good placement and a room that's not too challenging. (Eg, hard surfaces in the wrong places.)

- As far as I've seen, the vast majority of people who complain about speakers - eg, too bright, etc - never gave much thought to the placement or the room. Nope, it's the speakers, they're sure. The engineers who made them just made them real wrong. (They're wrong.)

- As far as what people want, clearly the answer is most don't care. Most want something that sounds good, or just want to hear the music that's playing. Some want euphonic inaccuracy, like tube or vinyl. Some care.

- The idea that you can't ever get anything close to what the recording was meant to sound like is of course ridiculous. But keep in mind that most recordings aren't created to sound like a live performance.[/quote]



I agree with this. For myself I spent alot of money on what I have, learned enough for myself, tweaked what I could. I have no interest in vinyl, tubes amps, etc, as I've spent enough on my system already. More than most would spend.

I listen to music on cd or off of cable and yes a sony mp3 and I don't care much about how it was downloaded. I pick music that I just enjoyed all my life and also have moved towards jazz. With jazz I look for upbeat, clear, detailed and tight, and also enjoyable.

If you asked everyone here what is the most accurate speaker out there, I bet you would get alot of different answers. Sometimes I think people tend to forget what it's really about. To just enjoy the music, movies, our systems in general and yes our speakers.

In the last couple of days I wondered if I belong here on the forums, I'm not here to have my product put down or to argue with people. All I really wanted from here was a place just to hang out with people who have a common interest.
I get lured into an arguement and that is when I ask Why I am here.
I could be just watching a good tv program, a good movie or listening to music that I enjoy.

Thats all I got to say and sorry Syd if I went off topic.
John1400 is offline  
post #17 of 35 Old 04-16-2012, 06:27 PM
AVS Special Member
 
ratm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by John1400 View Post

QUOTE=buzzy_;21915106]A couple things to keep in mind ...

- Speaker accuracy rarely survives being put in a real room.

- But you can help it a lot with good placement and a room that's not too challenging. (Eg, hard surfaces in the wrong places.)

- As far as I've seen, the vast majority of people who complain about speakers - eg, too bright, etc - never gave much thought to the placement or the room. Nope, it's the speakers, they're sure. The engineers who made them just made them real wrong. (They're wrong.)

- As far as what people want, clearly the answer is most don't care. Most want something that sounds good, or just want to hear the music that's playing. Some want euphonic inaccuracy, like tube or vinyl. Some care.

- The idea that you can't ever get anything close to what the recording was meant to sound like is of course ridiculous. But keep in mind that most recordings aren't created to sound like a live performance.

I agree with this. For myself I spent alot of money on what I have, learned enough for myself, tweaked what I could. I have no interest in vinyl, tubes amps, etc, as I've spent enough on my system already. More than most would spend.

I listen to music on cd or off of cable and yes a sony mp3 and I don't care much about how it was downloaded. I pick music that I just enjoyed all my life and also have moved towards jazz. With jazz I look for upbeat, clear, detailed and tight, and also enjoyable.

If you asked everyone here what is the most accurate speaker out there, I bet you would get alot of different answers. Sometimes I think people tend to forget what it's really about. To just enjoy the music, movies, our systems in general and yes our speakers.

In the last couple of days I wondered if I belong here on the forums, I'm not here to have my product put down or to argue with people. All I really wanted from here was a place just to hang out with people who have a common interest.
I get lured into an arguement and that is when I ask Why I am here.
I could be just watching a good tv program, a good movie or listening to music that I enjoy.

Thats all I got to say and sorry Syd if I went off topic.[/quote]

Absolutely agree on all parts
ratm is offline  
post #18 of 35 Old 04-17-2012, 07:16 AM
Member
 
John1400's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 23
I think avs is best place on the internet to discuss our mutual hobbies, but sometimes I wish there was a seperate thread just for people who feel Like I do. People who just enjoy this hobby, without getting into nasty debates and put downs and all the other negativity. I guess in the real world that is not possable as the thread would die off or get derailed, but it's still a nice thought. Myself I like to talk people who do own other speakers from what I have as opposed to only talking to owners of my particular brand. For me it's helps to broaden my horizons.

On that note I hope everyone has a good day
John1400 is offline  
post #19 of 35 Old 04-17-2012, 07:26 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
cel4145's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 11,725
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 233 Post(s)
Liked: 765
Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

I've grown up playing and listening to live acoustic music. To my ears, REAL music can indeed be grating and fatiguing. Violins, trumpets, flutes, etc.. are all beautiful instruments, but if you listen to them long enough, or from too close a distance (ie., too lound on a hifi) you WILL find them to be fatiguing. Ask a music teacher. If this is not happening on your system, then it's hard to imagine how it could be considered accurate.

But isn't some of this also likely related to the same problem that speakers have: room acoustics? Depending on the room, the performers position and the listener's position, would the instrument's output interact with the room differently than if those conditions are changed, just as with speakers?

And a recording, then, is an attempt to reproduce an optimal listening experience which a musician performing the piece wouldn't even necessarily hear.

Your questions are answered:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

HT: Energy RC-50, RC-LCR, Veritas VS Surrounds | Dual CHT SS 18.1s | Denon AVR-888 | modified Dayton SA1000 | Antimode 8033C
Desktop: CBM-170 SE | SVS SB-1000 | Audio-GD NFB-11 | HK 3390
Headphone & Portable HE-400 | K612 Pro | HP150 | DX50 | E12
cel4145 is offline  
post #20 of 35 Old 04-17-2012, 07:31 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Nuance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 11,583
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saturn94 View Post

For me accuracy would mean the speakers are just putting out what's on recording without alteration. I agree there's nothing wrong with tweeking the sound to your liking.

^ This.

If anyone has followed Floyd Toole and Sean Olive's works and studies, you've probably run across the blind case study in which they tested four different groups of people (College students off the street, audio dealers, audio reviewers and trained listeners) to see how important a flat on and off-axis frequency response/sound power response is. The system they used had a speaker shuffler that randomly swapped speakers into the listening position in a matter of a few seconds; the system also utilized a level attenuation that matched the listening levels. The results of this test show that an overwhelming majority of all listeners preferred the flatter measuring speakers. The notion that we all hear differently is flawed, or in the end it doesn't have an effect on what we like in loudspeaker reproduction. In general we're all striving for "accuracy," whether it is to the live event or what's on the recording. That would explains why the results of the case study turned out the way they did. We all have different preferences, but it would seem an accurate speaker overall is the way to start (I say "start" because once you get that "accurate" speaker into your room, all bets are off ). So yes, I think accuracy is important, even though the meaning of the word differs from person to person. Start with an "accurate" speaker, then resolve room issues and finally tweak the sound to your hearts content. After all, the only thing that matters that is you are happy with your sound.

Just something to think about...



Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

A couple things to keep in mind ...

- Speaker accuracy rarely survives being put in a real room.

- But you can help it a lot with good placement and a room that's not too challenging. (Eg, hard surfaces in the wrong places.)

- As far as I've seen, the vast majority of people who complain about speakers - eg, too bright, etc - never gave much thought to the placement or the room. Nope, it's the speakers, they're sure. The engineers who made them just made them real wrong. (They're wrong.)

- As far as what people want, clearly the answer is most don't care. Most want something that sounds good, or just want to hear the music that's playing. Some want euphonic inaccuracy, like tube or vinyl. Some care.

- The idea that you can't ever get anything close to what the recording was meant to sound like is of course ridiculous. But keep in mind that most recordings aren't created to sound like a live performance.

This is a fantastic post.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
Nuance is offline  
post #21 of 35 Old 04-17-2012, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
syd123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: mid-atlantic region of US
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

But isn't some of this also likely related to the same problem that speakers have: room acoustics? Depending on the room, the performers position and the listener's position, would the instrument's output interact with the room differently than if those conditions are changed, just as with speakers?

And a recording, then, is an attempt to reproduce an optimal listening experience which a musician performing the piece wouldn't even necessarily hear.

Yes, I think you're correct. ..Room acoustics, in both recording and playback, plays a huge role. ..Hence, I think audiophiles should spend as much time adjusting their listening environment as they do searching for the perfect speaker. And as others have said, claims of "brightness" are often made against the speaker when in fact it's a poorly arranged room/ acoustics, etc...

But even in a perfect room, and with perfect speakers SOME music WILL eventually fatigue. ..Trumpets, flutes, violins, etc... WILL indeed grate on your hearing if you listen to them at 90db for 90 minutes.... To wit, we've been to the Philadelphia Academy of music to see The Nutcracker 8 or 9 times over the past 15 years. ..When our seats place us close to the orchestra pit, the music begin to grate after about 45 minutes.. ..And the acoustics are wonderful, the musicians are skilled, and their instruments are top-notch.
syd123 is offline  
post #22 of 35 Old 04-17-2012, 10:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
derrickdj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,461
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Liked: 146
I do not think anyone mention that the cd, vinyl or other sources that we listen to were made to sound good in the dubbing or sound engineer and artist opinion. This is different than what was played in the studio to some degree which required the engineer in the first place. I agree with the one post that said accuracy is to reproduce the signal sent from the amp unaltered. I just like to enjoy my system and do not care for the bashing that done on some of these forums. I enjoy the tech talk and get a better understanding of audio and audio theory. Brightness is usually caused by a lack of audio system and room synergy.

Klipsch RF 7 based HT 7.4, Pioneer SC 35, Acurus 200 Five, Dayton 18 Ultimxa Dual Sub Cab(2), Dayton 18 Ultimax Large Vented Sub Cab (2), on Berhinger I Nuke DPS amps, Samsung BDP F 7500, Asus/My Book Live HPC 4 TB

Yaquin VK 2100 amp, McIntosh XR 5 speakers, Samsung BDP F 7500
derrickdj1 is offline  
post #23 of 35 Old 04-17-2012, 10:36 PM
AVS Special Member
 
John Robert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 3,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

The results of this test show that an overwhelming majority of all listeners preferred the flatter measuring speakers.

Flattest measured in room or flattest anechoic response?

John

"What happens in Vegas..."
John Robert is offline  
post #24 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 05:37 AM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Robert View Post

Flattest measured in room or flattest anechoic response?

John

Anechoic. We shouldn't change the source and the equipment needs to faithfully reproduce the source. There have been many studies that show we prefer a flat frequency response including those by Toole and Olive as mentioned.

Let's say you are talking with a friend you can easily notice if their voice sounds different. Let's say they sound nasal due to a cold, or hoarse from a sore throat you immediately notice it. It doesn't matter what type of room you are in you can still notice their voice is different. An inaccurate speaker is altering the source and the studies show that people recognize this even with material they are unfamiliar. Just like many can guess when a stranger has a cold or sore throat.

Speakers are typically measured anechoic or quasi-anechoic (outside in an open area like a field) so room problems aren't part of the speaker design and the source remains accurate.

Rooms play a huge role in quality of sound but the source still needs to be accurate. You will get the best sound quality if you can treat the room and leave EQ as the very final tweak. I am not saying EQ isn't beneficial but sometimes it used where it shouldn't or and often things are over EQ'd. Studies have shown that EQ does not always make sound better.

Speaking of a flat response, let's talk about flat in room response. In most home sized rooms high frequencies start to roll off at ~6-8khz and will be down several DB by 20khz. Should we correct for this? Well it depends, many experts will say no as it causes the sound to be not natural and we recognize it. I agree with this and find it fatiguing over time.

However, if I were to play material and AB it many listeners would like the boost. It makes things like cymbals or glass breaking more pronounced and in a simple AB test listeners feel they are hearing more detail. But over time listeners change their mind as this gets fatiguing. Just like the other poster stated some sounds will get more fatiguing over time.

If you look at many auto EQ systems they will often have a 'flat' setting or some other choice like theater, natural, or whatever they like to call it which is often the better choice. When users AB these modes they often choose flat because in that short period of their testing it sounds more detailed.

Another thing to keep in mind is these frequencies are out of our main vocal range where it is easiest for us to hear unnatural timbres. So changes in this upper range is tougher for us to notice with short testing times.

Good acoustics starts with a faithfully reproduced source and once in the room it all comes down to location, location, location. Location of seating, location of speakers/subs, location of acoustic treatments. Use EQ judiciously and as the final tweak.

The big problems with speakers is that is difficult to get any useful measurements from manufacturers. Some pro companies provide this information but few consumer speaker companies do.

Hope this helps.
BobL is offline  
post #25 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 07:39 AM - Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
syd123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: mid-atlantic region of US
Posts: 449
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 34
A great contribution BobL, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

The big problems with speakers is that is difficult to get any useful measurements from manufacturers. Some pro companies provide this information but few consumer speaker companies do.

curious to know which measurement are your referring to?
syd123 is offline  
post #26 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 07:46 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Nuance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 11,583
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Anechoic. We shouldn't change the source and the equipment needs to faithfully reproduce the source. There have been many studies that show we prefer a flat frequency response including those by Toole and Olive as mentioned.

Let's say you are talking with a friend you can easily notice if their voice sounds different. Let's say they sound nasal due to a cold, or hoarse from a sore throat you immediately notice it. It doesn't matter what type of room you are in you can still notice their voice is different. An inaccurate speaker is altering the source and the studies show that people recognize this even with material they are unfamiliar. Just like many can guess when a stranger has a cold or sore throat.

Speakers are typically measured anechoic or quasi-anechoic (outside in an open area like a field) so room problems aren't part of the speaker design and the source remains accurate.

Rooms play a huge role in quality of sound but the source still needs to be accurate. You will get the best sound quality if you can treat the room and leave EQ as the very final tweak. I am not saying EQ isn't beneficial but sometimes it used where it shouldn't or and often things are over EQ'd. Studies have shown that EQ does not always make sound better.

Speaking of a flat response, let's talk about flat in room response. In most home sized rooms high frequencies start to roll off at ~6-8khz and will be down several DB by 20khz. Should we correct for this? Well it depends, many experts will say no as it causes the sound to be not natural and we recognize it. I agree with this and find it fatiguing over time.

However, if I were to play material and AB it many listeners would like the boost. It makes things like cymbals or glass breaking more pronounced and in a simple AB test listeners feel they are hearing more detail. But over time listeners change their mind as this gets fatiguing. Just like the other poster stated some sounds will get more fatiguing over time.

If you look at many auto EQ systems they will often have a 'flat' setting or some other choice like theater, natural, or whatever they like to call it which is often the better choice. When users AB these modes they often choose flat because in that short period of their testing it sounds more detailed.

Another thing to keep in mind is these frequencies are out of our main vocal range where it is easiest for us to hear unnatural timbres. So changes in this upper range is tougher for us to notice with short testing times.

Good acoustics starts with a faithfully reproduced source and once in the room it all comes down to location, location, location. Location of seating, location of speakers/subs, location of acoustic treatments. Use EQ judiciously and as the final tweak.

The big problems with speakers is that is difficult to get any useful measurements from manufacturers. Some pro companies provide this information but few consumer speaker companies do.

Hope this helps.

Wow - what an excellent post. I have nothing to add, that's how good it was.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

 

 

No matter what measurements tell us, a loudspeaker isn’t good until it
sounds good. - Dr. Floyd Toole
Nuance is offline  
post #27 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 08:46 AM
AVS Special Member
 
John Robert's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 3,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobL View Post

Speaking of a flat response, let's talk about flat in room response. In most home sized rooms high frequencies start to roll off at ~6-8khz and will be down several DB by 20khz. Should we correct for this? Well it depends, many experts will say no as it causes the sound to be not natural and we recognize it. I agree with this and find it fatiguing over time.

You covered a lot of interesting ground. I have read that many speaker designers do indeed plan for a slightly tilted up treble response in anticipation of the in-room high freq roll off you describe...

John

"What happens in Vegas..."
John Robert is offline  
post #28 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 10:17 AM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
Measurements for speakers should have polar plots and/or on and off axis response in both vertical and horizontal directions. Power response plots would be nice too.

To get a good idea of how a speaker is going to sound in a room you need to know how it radiates its sound. This will help with placements and a room treatment design based off this information. Knowing how linear it is at how it responds at different levels. Every speaker has limits and knowing where those occur is very helpful.

Speaker designers make all type of design choices when building a speaker. You can certainly build a speaker to compensate for a room problem. I'd rather have an accurate speaker and use EQ to flavor to taste if needed as a speaker designed for a given room will only work well in similar rooms. Cost can often be an issue on design tradeoffs, and sometimes marketing has a role in the design as well:-)
BobL is offline  
post #29 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 10:20 AM
 
BobL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 3,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 53
Thanks Nuance.
BobL is offline  
post #30 of 35 Old 04-18-2012, 11:06 AM
AVS Special Member
 
chikoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Flat is never flat. It is always +/- 3db for most honest manufacturers.
So even for two speakers who claim flat +/-3db, the final sound quality will be different as it will depend on which frequencies are +3db and which ones are -3db.
chikoo is offline  
Reply Speakers

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off