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Are audio companies all involved in a huge conspiracy? - Page 98

post #2911 of 3048
+1.

One caveat: Crosstalk in PA's I have measured has generally been determined by PSRR.
post #2912 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

What are the main differences between monoblock and biamping?

They are irrelevant to each other.

A monoblock is just a fancy word for a mono power amp.

Biamping is a methodology for configuring power amps and speakers.
Quote:
Monoblocking, to my understanding, means the amp is running the two amps in one box, bridged, this means it can swing double the voltage, but not double, or quadruple the current, so you shouldn't run low impedance heavy duty speakers.

Never heard that term before, but it makes sense as stated.
Quote:
What I've been told is that bi-amping might be better if you can split the speaker into easier more drivable compartments, bridged if you cannot, and hopefully the impedance does not go much below 4 ohms... or you don't play very loud.

There are two kinds of biamping - active biamping and passive biamping.

Active biamping amounts to redesigning the speaker to optimize its use with two power amp channels.

Passive biamping is audiophile myth.
post #2913 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

+1.

One caveat: Crosstalk in PA's I have measured has generally been determined by PSRR.

It could potentially be increased by internal grounding problems inside the amp.

Generally as long as the amp is run outside of clipping, crosstalk is so low as to not be an issue in typical applications.
post #2914 of 3048
Agree to both. Of course...
post #2915 of 3048
Speakers and AV Receivers with their bi-amping capabilities. Another manufacturer farce foisted upon the unsavy consumer.

Equipment manufacturer dishonesty is apparent when examining the overwhelming bench test information provided by numerous second party publications. These tests make it obvious that most AV Receivers produce significantly less wattage than advertised when tasked with driving more than two channels.

Since 7.1 Receivers utilize rear l/r channel amps with front l/r amps in a bi-amp speaker configuration, and no option to filter frequencies in accordance with the speaker's internal crossover, the Receiver is then tasked with providing full frequency power to four channels rather than two. Therefore, no added power is available; only the possibility of less.

For those Receiver's equipped with pre-outputs I'm open to the suggestion of some audible benefit by using a more powerful amp to drive lower frequencies in a passive bi-amp mode. Perhaps a few added decibels of output might be obtained.
post #2916 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by UndersAVS View Post

Speakers and AV Receivers with their bi-amping capabilities.

For your reading entertainment, a sort of a mini white paper about passive biamping:


When you passively biamp, the same signal is coming out of the amplifier for the high frequency section of the speaker and amplifier for the low frequency section of the speaker, which is the same signal that would be coming out of a single amplifier driving the same speaker connected normally. In all three cases, the amplifiers produce the same signal. In all three cases the high and low frequency sides of the speaker receive the same signal and produce the same sound. In all three cases if you try to increase the signal past the point where the amplifier clips, there is distortion at the same point. Therefore, no significant additional undistorted output can possibly come from the speaker due to passive biamping.

Modern SS amps are very linear as long as they are not clipping. Clipping is stimulated by trying to make an amplifier produce more voltage or current than it has the resources to deliver.

In the early days of SS amps (second generation) it was not uncommon for power amplifiers to unexpectedly lack sufficient current to deliver a linear signal to certain speakers. The original Crown DC300 interfaced to a pair of AR3s might ave been an early poster boy for this problem. Third generation and successive generation power amplifiers generally address or solve these problems. (BTW first generation SS amps simply fried on the spot!)

The unexpected clipping problem has a number of dimensions:

(1) Clipping may happen unexpectedly, that is at lower power levels than the power ratings of the amplifier would lead us to believe it to be a concern. But, it is not a problem at low and medium power levels.
(2) Clipping can be clean or messy, and messy clipping can be far more audible than clean clipping. The ear is accepting of short term and infrequent clean clipping.
(3) Power amplifiers have a number of different current limits:
(3a) Their power supplies can momentarily run out of current to supply. This is mostly about power transformers and filter capacitors.
(3b) Their output transistors have natural limits on how much current they can pass with reasonable linearity.
(3c) There can be issues with output device safe operating area, where avoidance of destruction of the output devices under esoteric conditions may involve highly non linear protection circuits that can activate at power levels on the order of half or a third of the usual power ratings of the amplifier.

So, when a power amplifier is operating linearly, that is not clipping, passive biamplification has nothing to offer.

When an amplifier is clipping due to it being asked to exceed its ability to provide voltage, again passive biamplification has nothing to offer.

When an amplifier is clipping due to it being asked to exceed its ability to provide current, passive biamplification may have something to offer.

There are some important prerequisites that need to be met for passive biamplification to provide a sound quality advantage:

(1) The amplifier needs to be clipping due to its inability to provide sufficient current.
(2) The amplifier needs to be clipping due to its inability to provide sufficient current due to a limitation of the individual power amplfiier circuit. If the current limitation is due exhaustion of the capacity of a shared power supply, using multiple output stages to route power from that exhausted power supply cannot provide a significant advantage. You can't squeeze blood out of a stone!
(3) The signal needs to have a spectral content that results in a significant spreading of power across the frequency range of both the low frequency and high frequency sections of the loudspeaker system being passively biamplified.

None of these requirements are exactly a slam dunk.

Clipping due to a lack of voltage capability is far more common and is pretty much guaranteed as long as the speaker does not provide an unusually tough reactive or low resistance load. Many AVRs do not have current limiting or SOA limiting circuits in their output stages because modern output devices can be very robust in this way.

People like to criticize AVRs for having weak power supplies, and passive biamping provides very weak if any relief from this situation if it rears its ugly head.

Since we're talking about crossover points in the 2 KHz range, it is very common for most of the energy of the music to be concentrated in the low frequency range, and again passive biamping provides very weak if any relief from this situation if it rears its ugly head. Passive biamping can only have significant advantages if their is near-uniform spreadiing of power above and below the crossover frequency.

Quote:
Another manufacturer farce foisted upon the unsavy consumer.

Equipment manufacturer dishonesty is apparent when examining the overwhelming bench test information provided by numerous second party publications. These tests make it obvious that most AV Receivers produce significantly less wattage than advertised when tasked with driving more than two channels.

I may surprise you by not being overly concerned about AVR power supplies. The hidden agenda is the crest factor or peak-to-average ratio of music and the impedance curves of real world speakers. The second party tests that you are referring to are IME always based on sine wave testing with resistive loads. This is generally very unrealistic, particularly on the test signal end of the story. I've been intensively gathering information about the crest factor of music, and the worst I've seen so far is about 10 dB. This means that music puts only about 1/10 as much load on an AVRs power supply as the conventional sine wave test signals.

AVR power supplies have also be criticized by their lack of oomph below 60 Hz due to undersized power supply filter capacitors. The near-universal use of separate powered subwoofers crossed over at 80 Hz or so makes that situation largely moot.

Another issue is the simple fact that not a lot of people actually use the full power output of their AVRs. If you actually go in and measure the voltage across the speakers it is often so low that a few inexperienced techs think that there is nothing at all! ;-)

AVR power supplies may not be pretty, but they generally work well enough.

Now if we could only say that about rooms and speakers!
post #2917 of 3048
Enjoyed reading the last post.

Though I had read articles such as this: http://www.audioholics.com/education/amplifier-technology/basic-amplifier-measurement-techniques

I arrived at the conclusion concerning the uselessness of bi-amping with an AV Receiver through deductive reasoning, reading the Receiver manual, and supplementing with AV reviews concerning multi-channel amps . Before blu-ray I had never used a Receiver, only two channel amp systems delivering 100 or 200 wpc. So the option to bi-amp my 4ohm speakers using the 7.1 multi-channel Receiver rear channels was alluring. Simple reasoning. More amps, more power.

"When you passively biamp, the same signal is coming out of the amplifier for the high frequency section of the speaker and amplifier for the low frequency section of the speaker, which is the same signal that would be coming out of a single amplifier driving the same speaker connected normally."

That was the key to the realization: no benefit. I discovered that the Receiver offered no way to filter the frequencies in accordance with the speaker's crossover. Deferring to the possiblity of a misunderstanding on my part, I tried the bi-amp feature using the rear channel amps to power the front speakers, and later, pre-amp outputs and a seperate amp, but noticed no difference. Oddly, I read forum comments repeatedly describing improved soundstage and clarity after bi-ampling. How? Those reports seemed dubious.

Imrproved clarity would be achieved, if two channel were clipping. If I hadn't heard clipping before bi-amping, then there would be no benefit. In fact, if Receiver wattage decreases when utilzing more than two amps, distortion is more likely to occur when bi-amping. My current Receiver is rated 140 wpc by the manufacturer, but when tested by Home Theater magazine it delivered only 70wpc when driving five channels. It seemed possible that amp distortion would more likely occur when bi-amping since less wattage was available.

Imrpvoved soundstage in my understanding is derived from less amp crosstalk and signal processing, not more power. How could soundstage improve when the same signal/wattage is fed to low and high frequency speaker drivers? I don't see how this improvment could be achieved.
post #2918 of 3048
"Improved" soundstage doesn't have to come from technical merits, it can be a result of introducing errors in the crossovers, what comes to mind first is phase shifts. As usual, nothing prevents people from prefering technical flaws.
post #2919 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

"Improved" soundstage doesn't have to come from technical merits, it can be a result of introducing errors in the crossovers, what comes to mind first is phase shifts. As usual, nothing prevents people from preferring technical flaws.

"There is no accounting for personal taste or the lack of it"

The example that comes to my mind is vinyl. There is no question that vinyl media must introduce clearly measurable and potentially audible errors of many kinds into the signals that are reproduced from it.

People have been avoiding publishing the results comprehensive technical tests on LP playback equipment (comparable to the tests routinely done on digital players) for decades. The reason is simple - the technical numbers for vinyl are dreary and would not be tolerated for a second if they related to an amplifier or a digital player. The only class of audio components that routinely evidences more distortion is loudspeakers.

Yet some people prefer vinyl playback to this day.

If sonic accuracy as opposed to personal preference is used as the criteria for judging audio gear, then we have something that tends to prevent people from preferring technical flaws.
post #2920 of 3048
So by reading lot of the posts it appears amps and other electronics sound similar under controlled conditions but wouldn't that mean there is no such thing as user preference? If it all sounds the same under similar conditions then no one has a preference since it sounds the same.

If you do hear something you like it could be due to some other variable, hence it's not a preference based on any sound evidence. That's what I'm gathering from the posts. Correct me if I'm wrong.
post #2921 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Yet some people prefer vinyl playback to this day.

Yes, I agree.

Just a little caveat; there has started to be a merit behind it the last few years... as in this day of compression madness, it happens quite often that the vinyl master is less compressed than the CD version... and though I don't have a vinyl player myself, the thought have crossed my mind to get one... as I probably can live with vinyl's inherent problems if I get less compressed music... I have heard a Robyn vinyl that surpassed the CD by far and it was a very interesting experience.
post #2922 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

So by reading lot of the posts it appears amps and other electronics sound similar under controlled conditions but wouldn't that mean there is no such thing as user preference? If it all sounds the same under similar conditions then no one has a preference since it sounds the same.

If you do hear something you like it could be due to some other variable, hence it's not a preference based on any sound evidence. That's what I'm gathering from the posts. Correct me if I'm wrong.

 

It pretty much depends on what you want or expect from your system. Many people, me included, want a system that is transparent to the source. IOW, it plays back what is on the disc as closely as possible to the way the creator of the disc intended it to be heard (or seen). Modern electronics like amps and DACs, when working within their design parameters, have long since been able to reproduce the input signal at the output at distortion levels well below the threshold of human audibility. In that sense, if they are outputting exactly what was input, with no changes or distortions, then clearly they will all 'sound the same' - they will all simply reproduce the input signal, but louder in the case of an amplifier of course. For many people, that is their goal, and it is a good one because once a component starts to introduce a sound of its own, then you no longer have any way of knowing if the music (etc) you are listening to is being reproduced the way the creator intended fror you to hear it. If your amplifier exaggerates or diminishes some frequencies, for example, then you will not hear, say, the bass line as it was intended by the bass player and the producer, or the strings may sound harsh and overly bright, or dull and lifeless and so on. Once you are confident your electronics are transparent you can also be confident that they will reproduce the music (etc) as intended.

 

If you want your amplifier to act as a tone control then there are options you can choose - for example a tube amp to name just one. If you prefer the sound that a tube amp 'layers' onto the original sound, then you are all set. There is nothing wrong with preferring that sort of sound, so long as you understand it is not the sound that you were intended to hear by the people who created the content in the first place. 

 

Once you accept the argument above, then you can focus your attentions on those areas which really do affect the sound quality of any system - the room and the speakers. They are by far, far more important in their influence on final SQ than any amp, or DAC etc.  Removing the negative influences of the room by using careful speaker placements, room treatments, EQ and so on is the most important step towards good sound. Then choose the speakers that give you what you want. Unlike amps and electronics, speakers really do sound different one to another and you may prefer the more open and transparent types which let you 'see into' the source or you may prefer a 'warmer' or 'more relaxed' presentation and there are many speaker choices which will give you those things.

 

So, in summary, it seems that you have picked up from this thread what I would hope anyone would pick up - that electronics are relatively unimportant, so long as amps are powerful enough to drive your chosen speakers, in your room, to the SPLs you want and that the real gains come from paying attention to speaker placement, the room and the speakers.

post #2923 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Yet some people prefer vinyl playback to this day.

Yes, I agree.

Just a little caveat; there has started to be a merit behind it the last few years... as in this day of compression madness, it happens quite often that the vinyl master is less compressed than the CD version... and though I don't have a vinyl player myself, the thought have crossed my mind to get one... as I probably can live with vinyl's inherent problems if I get less compressed music... I have heard a Robyn vinyl that surpassed the CD by far and it was a very interesting experience.

For many years I had a very expensive vinyl system using a Linn LP12 deck, an SME tone arm and a very expensive cartridge. I sold it all and switched to digital for all sorts of reasons, but I do hear what you are saying. I acknowledge all the inherent faults, problems and distortions of vinyl, but a well produced LP played back on very good equipment sounds incredibly 'live' to me - maybe because of the greater dynamic range. The main problem with vinyl, back in the day, IMO was that few people had the very expensive gear needed to make the most of what was encoded on the vinyl disc. 

 

HST it is years since I had my vinyl system and LPs so a comparison with a modern CD played on a competent system might make me think differently...

post #2924 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post


If you want your amplifier to act as a tone control then there are options you can choose - for example a tube amp to name just one. If you prefer the sound that a tube amp 'layers' onto the original sound, then you are all set. There is nothing wrong with preferring that sort of sound, so long as you understand it is not the sound that you were intended to hear by the people who created the content in the first place. 

This would apply to anyone that uses an AVR on anything but source direct as well.
Must be a lot of people enjoying audio distorted based on sales of these units
with these features. This would also apply to people listening to 2 ch recording
on multi channel playback systems....lots of them around.

So how does one know exactly what they intended it to sound like if you wernt there
with the people that created the content?
If you have your system and speakers set up properly and if I have mine set
up properly they should sound the same?
Dont different types of speaker configurations...bi-pole, di-pole, open baffle,
sealed, ported, line arrays, etc have something to say about the presentation?
What is correct? If there was a correct way wouldnt everyone be using it?
Just curious....
post #2925 of 3048
I've always had vinyl playback hooked up to my system, and yet for the longest time rarely used it. When I bought my latest pre-amp I naturally took it's phono stage for a ride and was pleasantly surprised, on two fronts, one was the dynamic range and the other was the positive effect the room correction had without negating the "character" of vinyl.
That led me to doing a bit more research into the medium today, this is a part of the audio chain where components matter because you're dealing with mechanical anomalies. Not to the degree some would have you believe, but you definitely can change the sound so many different ways. Anyways, I ended up re-building a Technics SL1210, buying a decent cartridge for it and getting a dedicated phone pre-amp and the combination has me enjoying my vinyl collection more than ever. I concur there's flaws in the reproduction but there's also an interesting character to it which is hard to quantify. (Perhaps it's the same thing tube-heads search for?)
I still run it through the pre-amp's DSP and use XT32 Pro, the difference with and without it is considerable, and appreciable.
post #2926 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry R View Post

Dont different types of speaker configurations...bi-pole, di-pole, open baffle,
sealed, ported, line arrays, etc have something to say about the presentation?
What is correct? If there was a correct way wouldnt everyone be using it?
Just curious....

There isn't a "correct way" because no two rooms are identical, and no two tastes are identical. Today's AVR's are extremely competent at processing the input signal and sending it out the other end with little or no audible degradation, within limits.

Once you get to the signal to the speakers, you're dealing with the physical nature of moving sound-waves relative to the listening position and as you alluded to there are so many ways to skin a cat there....
post #2927 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

There isn't a "correct way" because no two rooms are identical, and no two tastes are identical. Today's AVR's are extremely competent at processing the input signal and sending it out the other end with little or no audible degradation, within limits.

Once you get to the signal to the speakers, you're dealing with the physical nature of moving sound-waves relative to the listening position and as you alluded to there are so many ways to skin a cat there....

Thats what I was getting at, you can be transparent at the source, but thats not going to necessarily
get you what was "intended" by the creators. Although I assume its the best place to start,
the end result is so room dependent that its just a "best guess", and what you prefer is
going to come to play.....if you use tone controls or processing, or not.
post #2928 of 3048
Quote:
it is years since I had my vinyl system and LPs so a comparison with a modern CD played on a competent system might make me think differently...

I have several good record players, technically competently built but older, with comparable specs to newer equipment, among them a TD 125 with an air-bearing arm. I finally after several cartridges wound up with what I consider the most neutral - a Denon DL 103. At best the LP is indistinguishable from the CD, at worst the snap crackle pop is simply annoying, even on freshly minted records. I own among the the Beatles single compilation on a well produced record, but between tracks some noise still is present.

I have no problem with overly compressed and "loud" CDs, which might have to do with my choices of music: classical, jazz, bues and heavily blues based rock and world music.
Edited by kraut - 4/7/13 at 10:59am
post #2929 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by OllieS View Post

So by reading lot of the posts it appears amps and other electronics sound similar under controlled conditions but wouldn't that mean there is no such thing as user preference?

More correctly, controlled tests show that many amps and dacs and some other similar kinds of electronics sound similar or are indistinguishable.

Users obviously still have preferences, but many of them may not be based on large variations in sound quality.
post #2930 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry R View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post


If you want your amplifier to act as a tone control then there are options you can choose - for example a tube amp to name just one. If you prefer the sound that a tube amp 'layers' onto the original sound, then you are all set. There is nothing wrong with preferring that sort of sound, so long as you understand it is not the sound that you were intended to hear by the people who created the content in the first place. 

This would apply to anyone that uses an AVR on anything but source direct as well.
Must be a lot of people enjoying audio distorted based on sales of these units
with these features. This would also apply to people listening to 2 ch recording
on multi channel playback systems....lots of them around.

 

I thought it was clear from my post that I was referring to amplifiers and DACs, since they were the things I specifically mentioned, but perhaps it wasn't. Obviously if you use an AVR and use any form of tone control or DSP mode then it will sound different - that is the entire purpose of tone controls and DSPs.  I'm sure if you read my post again, you will see what I was saying.

 

Quote:

So how does one know exactly what they intended it to sound like if you wernt there
with the people that created the content?
If you have your system and speakers set up properly and if I have mine set
up properly they should sound the same?

Dont different types of speaker configurations...bi-pole, di-pole, open baffle,
sealed, ported, line arrays, etc have something to say about the presentation?
What is correct? If there was a correct way wouldnt everyone be using it?
Just curious....
 

 

I guess you also missed this part of my post: " Unlike amps and electronics, speakers really do sound different one to another..."

post #2931 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry R View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnrgagne View Post

There isn't a "correct way" because no two rooms are identical, and no two tastes are identical. Today's AVR's are extremely competent at processing the input signal and sending it out the other end with little or no audible degradation, within limits.

Once you get to the signal to the speakers, you're dealing with the physical nature of moving sound-waves relative to the listening position and as you alluded to there are so many ways to skin a cat there....

Thats what I was getting at, you can be transparent at the source, but thats not going to necessarily
get you what was "intended" by the creators. Although I assume its the best place to start,
the end result is so room dependent that its just a "best guess", and what you prefer is
going to come to play.....if you use tone controls or processing, or not.

 

That isn't correct. With movies certainly (which is my main focus for m/ch systems). Movies are mixed to known standards and those standards can be re-created at home if one has sufficiently good equipment and sufficiently sophisticated measuring equipment and the knowledge and desire to use it. If you can achieve, for example, a frequency  response that is flat +/-3dB over the audible spectrum then you can be fairly sure that what you are hearing at home is what was intended by the mixer in his control room. Same goes for Reference Level SPLs - these are defined for movies and you can either achieve them or you can’t. If you can, then again you can be fairly sure of what you are hearing.

 

I agree that it is more difficult with music content, where there are no standards.

post #2932 of 3048
goneten = 1. Arnold = 0. wink.gif
post #2933 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry R View Post

Thats what I was getting at, you can be transparent at the source, but thats not going to necessarily
get you what was "intended" by the creators. Although I assume its the best place to start,
the end result is so room dependent that its just a "best guess", and what you prefer is
going to come to play.....if you use tone controls or processing, or not.

It's more like a well set up room and speakers will allow that intent to be conveyed better. It's just not a "one size fits all" thing.
post #2934 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I guess you also missed this part of my post: " Unlike amps and electronics, speakers really do sound different one to another..."

No, didnt miss anything, I knew what you were talking about.
I understand, and agree with the electronics comparison.

I just dont get why you think your system that measures well,
would sound the same as another system that measures just as well,
in a different environment, using different drivers in different configurations.
So if all else is equal, wheres the benchmark?

My room is well treated, it measures well, I have well designed
Open baffles with a 12" co-ax for mids and highs and
open baffle servo subs in an "H" frame...Do you think
our two systems would be indistinguishable?
Dont thinks so....

Not trying to be a pain, just trying to figure out where the
"your not hearing what was intended but I am" thing came from,
when you only consider the electronics, and dont take the other
half of the system into account.
post #2935 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

That isn't correct. With movies certainly (which is my main focus for m/ch systems). Movies are mixed to known standards and those standards can be re-created at home if one has sufficiently good equipment and sufficiently sophisticated measuring equipment and the knowledge and desire to use it. If you can achieve, for example, a frequency  response that is flat +/-3dB over the audible spectrum then you can be fairly sure that what you are hearing at home is what was intended by the mixer in his control room.
Putting aside that the first incorrect assumption that the sources are calibrated to the some fidelity yardstick, the second point is definitely not true. With respect to broad resonances, our sensitivity is as low as 0.5 db. +- 3 dB is worlds different so there is no way such two systems varying by some 6 dB in different parts would remotely sound the same. It is a dream and fantasy that for some reason keeps getting repeated. I cover this topic briefly in the first part of my article here on audibility of small distortions[/URL]: http://www.madronadigital.com/Library/AudibilityofSmallDistortions.html.

In a thread where we talk about what is perceptible or not, it seems very odd to all of a sudden hang one's hat on simpleminded numbers like +-3 dB. Quoting Dr. Toole:

'Any tolerance applied to a frequency-response curve needs to take into consideration the bandwidth/Q of the deviations that are being described. The conventional ±3 dB, or other tolerances, have no meaning without being able to see the curve(s) that are being verbally described. "
Quote:
I agree that it is more difficult with music content, where there are no standards.
With respect to what is "audible" for movies, there is no standard there either. If you however subscribe to useless 1/3 octave forced equalization, you still wind up with this kind of mess despite using the same brand of Genelec speakers: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1439769/any-suggestions-for-cables/150#post_22723642

i-9ZbrrbF.png

I don't know how anyone could remotely say that those rooms sound the same let alone our rooms could match them with different speakers and variations of our own! In a thread where we keep stomping our feet about what the audio truth is in amps, DACs and such, we go on to make such grossly incorrect assumptions about audibility of differences in frequency response.
Edited by amirm - 4/7/13 at 2:15pm
post #2936 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

It pretty much depends on what you want or expect from your system. Many people, me included, want a system that is transparent to the source. IOW, it plays back what is on the disc as closely as possible to the way the creator of the disc intended it to be heard

I must admit that my eyes glazed over when I read this first line as well thinking what a load of tosh.

Considering that most commercial pop and rock music is mixed to sound good while playing on a AM/FM radio at work or in the car with noisy backgrounds... does that mean I should only listen to such music at work or in the car so I can hear "what the creator intended me to hear"...???

This is why most commercial music is so compressed. If you listened to a track with a large dynamic range on the radio at work with its noisy background, then those quieter sections would simply sound like complete silence and you would go looking for a different radio station to listen to. So they compress it to a more equal loudness to sound good on the radio at work or in the car.

Of course at home on a good system that can play high dB levels without distortion and you have a very quiet background... that compressed music sounds flat and boring. I instead much prefer a well recorded jazz or orchestral track with a large dynamic range that can go from dramatically loud to whisper quiet on the same track. Being able to hear a musician breathe or move in their seat or someone in the audience give a slight cough in the same track as a full symphony orchestra at full blast is quite cool I think. But play that same track back at work on the AM/FM radio and it will sound like cr@p. Much like how commercial pop and rock music that is mixed to sound good on the radio sounds boring and flat on a good hifi system.

Anybody that thinks "this is what they intended me to hear" are deluding themselves.
post #2937 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

I must admit that my eyes glazed over when I read this first line as well thinking what a load of tosh.

Considering that most commercial pop and rock music is mixed to sound good while playing on a AM/FM radio at work or in the car with noisy backgrounds... does that mean I should only listen to such music at work or in the car so I can hear "what the creator intended me to hear"...???

This is why most commercial music is so compressed. If you listened to a track with a large dynamic range on the radio at work with its noisy background, then those quieter sections would simply sound like complete silence and you would go looking for a different radio station to listen to. So they compress it to a more equal loudness to sound good on the radio at work or in the car.

Of course at home on a good system that can play high dB levels without distortion and you have a very quiet background... that compressed music sounds flat and boring. I instead much prefer a well recorded jazz or orchestral track with a large dynamic range that can go from dramatically loud to whisper quiet on the same track. Being able to hear a musician breathe or move in their seat or someone in the audience give a slight cough in the same track as a full symphony orchestra at full blast is quite cool I think. But play that same track back at work on the AM/FM radio and it will sound like cr@p. Much like how commercial pop and rock music that is mixed to sound good on the radio sounds boring and flat on a good hifi system.

Anybody that thinks "this is what they intended me to hear" are deluding themselves.

actually radio stations hate volume wars compressed masters, because they use multiband compressors on their output to create their signature sound. There's nothing left to compress, so they can't do their thing. AFAIK, everything I've read about the loudness wars suggests they began simply because some CDs were louder than others and people were bothered by it. They wanted their crap to be at least as loud as anybody else's crap. Because they forgot that everybody has a volume control.

But even before the loudness wars, mixers and mastering engineers were going for not just the best mix they could get on a good to great system. they want portability, so that even if it compromses the sound on great systems it's workable on bandwidth limited systems like inexpensive car radios. Lots of music mixers used to have car speakers no the mixing bridge expressly so they could adjust the mix to work in that context. It means, for instance, that bass needs a lot of lower mids in order to be heard, because that last octave of a four string bass is essentially inaudible on cheap four inch car speakers.

While most of what I listen to happens to be jazz and classical, I do find it unfortunate that the loudness wars resulted in recordings that I mostly find unlistenable fatiguing on repeated listenings. And I read recently that some classical artists are giveing feedback to their mastering engineers that "so-and-so's album is louder than mine. Fix it." and being people who want to contniue to be employed the engineers may comply and average levels may be rising at least to some extent.
post #2938 of 3048
I've been listening to a lot of new music, and despite my normal practice of ripping everything to 320k vbr, I end up with files from other people who just love HUGE files, like from ripping a SACD on a PS3. I think its pointless, and makes for various issues in my system due to drivers for the Toslink output I use for everything going to my AVR.

Friends insist I listen to some new SACD rip, so I finally do, and its amazing. Not a little better, but wow better.

After about a day of this something dawned on me, a problem I've had with my cable DVR that until that moment was unsolved. Normal programs have mono or stereo sound that the DVR sends to my AVR as PCM, but some have DTS which the DVR preserves and sends to the AVR. My AVY perhaps though some setting or something play PCM and DTS back at different levels. The SACD files in some cases were ripped to DTS and output that way.

Fortunately the level change was not subtle, otherwise I might have been chasing the difference in sound a long time.
post #2939 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry R View Post

Not trying to be a pain, just trying to figure out where the
"your not hearing what was intended but I am" thing came from,
when you only consider the electronics, and dont take the other
half of the system into account.

The context of most of this thread has been about what audible changes occur before the speaker input terminals, and how insignificant those are compared to what happens after.
In general power cables, interconnects, amplifiers, DAC's etc., all claiming audible differences that somehow are supposed to be discernible in rooms with FR swings as high as 30db.......it's like trying to taste a drop of Kool-Aid in a swimming pool.
The main point being if something in the component chain did alter the signal that much, it's no longer true to the media it's conveying, regardless of how good or bad it was recorded.
post #2940 of 3048
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry R View Post

I just dont get why you think your system that measures well,
would sound the same as another system that measures just as well,
in a different environment, using different drivers in different configurations.
So if all else is equal, wheres the benchmark?
.

I don't get this question, isn't the goal accurate reproduction at the MLP, no matter how you get there? If they measure identical why wouldn't they sound identical?
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