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post #1 of 135 Old 03-15-2018, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I have never heard reference quality audio before

I know personal preference for audio sound signatures is really what it boils down to.




But, I have never heard exactly what anything is supposed to sound like.


Lots of car stereos, but who knows if it is actually what it was supposed to sound like....lots of home stereos etc.




But I have no reference to what a song is supposed to sound like to compare.


Given the endless supply of varied content and speakers, how I am I supposed to ever know what it was originally intended to sound like to compare to my system ?


I have heard and have settings that give me what I think sounds good.


I know as flat as possible is a rule of thumb......


Where does one go to find perfect sound or at least exactly what it is supposed to sound like......how can I ever say, that's how it is suppose to sound.


Concerts are a poor place to find accurate true sound....movie theaters are not that great, .......are even sound demo rooms any good for this.


I want to hear a song exactly how it should sound and then compare it to my room.


Is that futile, should one just set his or her room until they think it is perfect or set the room flat no matter if they like it or not.


Seems like to get that perfect sound signature I like for music, I could re do all the settings for each song to be happy. Setting the room flat, some songs sound great, some horrible......setting everything for the content being played back gets great results, then the next song or album needs all the settings different to sound what I consider great.


How does everyone deal with this or has anyone ever heard how anything is supposed to sound beyond a live unamplified orchestra ?


I just pick a album, play with the settings until it sounds outstanding, then listen to the album/cd/recording and change it all for the next one, otherwise it never sounds just right for all the different content. I have found no one group of settings that sound great for all content.


Is this what it means when one hits audiophile status....in the old days it was crank it loud and party on. Then later just blaming the recording itself when one cd sounded great and the next one horrible.


Now I would like to know what is the song even supposed to sound like to begin with......

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post #2 of 135 Old 03-15-2018, 08:18 PM
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Test and measure the system to be as accurate as possible with the lowest distortion reasonable in your listening position

The next step is critical: Get a hearing test to evaluate how life has effected your ability to hear sound. Knowing the condition of your cranial holes assists with the understanding of what you are hearing. It can also help you do a bit of EQ to make things more pleasing to you... because life and time is not good for the ears.

After you get that setup, use a known very good recording to listen for anything offensive in the system. If good recordings sound good and you don't have complaints--that makes bad recordings sound worse! The problem with accurate systems is they don't hide bad recordings, it actually is easier to hear the foul ups and defects in the mix.

If you like a particular instrument, find somebody that is a studio musician professional in that instrument and listen to them solo (if you can) If you like a baby grand piano, find a decent pianist and listen to them with no amplifiers--just the instrument. It will give you an idea what they are supposed to sound like in the real world.

Another thing that helps and is very simple--listen to the spoken word on your system. Since humans tend to be tuned to the spoken word to survive, we all have heard it our entire lives and know what it sounds like. Throw a well recorded speech on the system and listen if the voice sounds natural to you. If you have a spouse or friend that you have communicated with for years, you might get a good recording of their voice since it will be obvious if your system plays it back accurately--heck, you can have them in the room with you!

The best thing we can hope for is an accurate system--then tune it to your hearing issues, quirks or tastes. We are all victims of poorly recorded material, the nature of the beast.

Good luck!
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post #3 of 135 Old 03-15-2018, 09:03 PM
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Unretarded , you have voiced something I've asked a few times and have tried to understand myself . I get setting your equipment up a certain way , but what I don't understand is how anyone can say their system is accurately reproducing the artists intent.

I know people who have recorded jazz , pop , broadway musicals and opera , have heard their voices in person numerous times , and have heard professional recordings on quality systems that they have been very happy with the sound of their voices on . The recordings sound different than in person , and different than other venues I have heard them sing in , be it the living room , the shower , or whatever .

So is my goal to set my system to match the systems they were happy hearing themselves on ? Match locations I've heard them in ? What about the fact that they were all happy listening on completely different systems ? How do I transfer that "reference" to other recordings , where the artist may want a different sound than reference , or different from what one of my friends likes for their recording ?

Since most recordings don't come to us flat , levels are tweaked based on what the artist and producer want , not to mention things like auto-tune , without having notes from the artist on how THEY want it to sound , aren't we all just guessing , and setting things to our taste?
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post #4 of 135 Old 03-15-2018, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Something 18Hurts mentioned is poorly recorded material, in a youtube/mp3 world it pretty common for not only poor, but horrible quality.




I am on HDTracks.com right now as they have 354kbs /24 bit flac files, so I can compare to my files.




This is fairly close in quality below....compared to most. But you can still hear a difference from the quality version on HDtracks






I think I am going to focus on eliminating poor quality recordings from my collection and go back to listening to records...rather than youtube and mp3`s.......some are alright, but most are poor quality. especially as pointed out, the better you get your system, the more poor quality recordings show up. I grew up on records and radio stations........


The stuff on HDTracks is outstanding quality, but it would cost me 20,000 dollars to replace my music with high quality from there.....

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post #5 of 135 Old 03-15-2018, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by acras13 View Post
Unretarded , you have voiced something I've asked a few times and have tried to understand myself . I get setting your equipment up a certain way , but what I don't understand is how anyone can say their system is accurately reproducing the artists intent.

Since most recordings don't come to us flat , levels are tweaked based on what the artist and producer want , not to mention things like auto-tune , without having notes from the artist on how THEY want it to sound , aren't we all just guessing , and setting things to our taste?

I think for me in the end.....am I happy with how it sounds? .......not soo much the artists intent for me.




I am just frustrated in order to do that I need to tweek all the settings for each album down to almost each track to get what makes me happy.


If I am jamming out and cooking/entertaining/cleaning the house it is not that critical........but in the dedicated theater room alone or with someone and the focus is reclined eyes shut music listening, then it is frustrating.


My method now is with the system set flat as possible as a baseline to adjust everything until it sounds outstanding for whatever recording I am going to listen to and then set back and listen....repeat for the next CD/album/recording session. Then return to baseline and repeat.....I just leave it at flat/baseline for normal listening.
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post #6 of 135 Old 03-15-2018, 10:16 PM
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For some real high res files mastered in high resolution, Real HD audio has sample files. I believe they include 5.1 surround demos as well.

You will need to get authorization to the FTP site as they can be quite large.

http://www.realhd-audio.com/?page_id=2

Hdtracks works, but the provenance of the files can be iffy - some tracks are just embiggened versions of lower quality files (e.g., the file starts at CD quality and is converted to high res versions like 24/96 or bigger, so you're paying more for what is still cd quality).
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post #7 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 06:16 AM
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Man who cares what the artist intended or what its suppose to sound like? I'll play it so it sounds good *to me*. I don't need someone else to tell me how something should sound. I have my own ears.

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post #8 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
I am just frustrated in order to do that I need to tweek all the settings for each album down to almost each track to get what makes me happy.
Well there is your issue. Every recording, and many time each track are all mastered differently, different records have different people on the mixing boards. Frankly there is no such thing as like a master reference sound, like a default that every artist can use. It all about the sound the artist want's to create. Like 18hurts mentioned ideally you would want to recreate the natural sound of the unamplified instrument. Of course depending on your taste in music that may be impossible. There are just to many variables in music and how it is recorded to ever set up something like a master reference system. you could spend $50,000 building a system that replicates your favorite jazz albums perfectly, but odds are if you were to play some heavy metal or techno or rap through that same system it wouldn't sound nearly as good. Many have suggested running studio monitors since that is what recording engineers use to listen and mix the track or album. And none of what I have said before this even takes in to account what kind of sound YOU prefer.
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post #9 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 06:34 AM
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OP,

Great line of questions. I have wondered this myself many many times? How do we know? After chasing this shadowy figure and doing gobs of research and listening to the Acoustic Experts. I have come to one single inescapable conclusion. Considering the fact that we don't really hear our Speakers per say, we hear the Room FR and how the Speakers sound in our individual listening space. Since we know every room is different, filled with differing shapes, density, and reflective materials. It is literally impossible to precisely duplicate the Original Sound.

There are a few Rooms in the World that have been painstakingly designed and constructed at incredible cost to be the "Perfect" Room acoustically. I guess if you were lucky enough to find one of these rooms and then get an invite to come demo material. Then you might achieve that goal of knowing what it "Should" sound like.

One other possibility exists. Take your gear outdoors. Free of all reflective surfaces. From what I gather, that is what all the "Diffusion" and "Absorption" room treatments are supposed to do. Make it sound like it is being heard outdoors.

The Final possibility is trying to get your room to sound as good as a high quality "Reference" set of Cans. If you can duplicate that sound in your room you are as close as you can get to achieving "Reference" Sound. Since the Headphones are in many instances, free of room problems/reflections/nulls/peaks and used as a listening tool in the recording mastering process.

All of the above is pure Opinion based on what I think I have learned in the many years of pursuit of the same goals as you. I finally gave up when a Professional Acoustic Engineer gave me a quote of several hundred thousand dollars to treat my room to just get close to "Reference"
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post #10 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 08:15 AM
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Some stuff sounds so bad that i see no problem changing the sound other than that i want to get close to artists intention. If one really wants to know how stuff actually is suppost to sound check out studios nearby ones home and make a appointment with a studio who is willing to demo some music for free.
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post #11 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 10:39 AM
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You know what made Patsy Cline such a great singer? It wasn't the material, everyone was recording that stuff, it was the way she added a little bit extra on the note on certain words in the songs. She could make a one sylable word 2 or 3 and it sounded right. It sounded amazing. And you hang on every note of such a simple song just to hear her voice.
You know what made you tingle about a Beach Boys song? Or Crosby Stills and Nash? It wasn't the story, it was the harmony. You started listening for it in every song.
You know how that last slam of notes on Paul's piano echoes through the room and fades out at the end of A Day In The Life?
And you couldn't get you of your chair.

You wait for that stuff.
Ever select Bach Fugue Quartet chamber recording just to relish in the seperation of the instruments and the complexity of the piece?
Critical listening becomes pure enjoyment.

If you don't know these things how did you even get here?
Do you need reference equipment to capture this stuff? It sure helps!
If you haven't heard reference quality audio, the day you do, if you are passionate about this hobby, nothing before will be acceptable.
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post #12 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
Now I would like to know what is the song even supposed to sound like to begin with......
Its a complex issue and no wonder people like to overcomplicate it, so I will dumb it down for you as much as possible.

There are only 3 parties involved in this transaction, so that kinda makes it simple: artist, producer, listener. Artist can be producer too but you can consider those two separate entities.

Artists involvement in end product depends on how much he is picky and specific about sound. In most cases that means some preference of tonal balance, relative levels of instruments, amount of liveliness etc. With waaaay more involved artists it might come to something like "hey dude can you make a notch up there at 5kHz at guitar, that buzz is killing me." So, with artists its usually more broad, they say what they like or don't like with sound or instrument and producer gets a technical job to fix that.
Assumption is they will listen in studio room, control room, wherever it sounds best but they will also hear it at some of their own gear. So yeah, unless you are Neil Young, you want good broad balance and that it translates well to other gear.

Producers live in some sort of studio, their musical surgery requires them to hear ALL details, so you can expect quite dead room, nearfield setup, flat response and maybe additional very well balanced control room. However some time ago even those rooms were poorly balanced and some still are (bass monster) so very often production process involves listening to end product at variety of commercial gear so it translates well. Assumption: flat dead nearfield setup or more live but balanced listening room.

That makes job somewhat easy to you as a listener. In most cases you are looking for flat sound system with some amount of reverberation. Nearfield system is easiest to do regarding sound quality, amount of acoustic treatment, etc etc. From that you might expand by adding more liveliness, diffusion or by moving further back to hear a difference. But I find nearfield with generous amount of DSP, at least in bass region very insightful.

Why is it insightful? Well, if you know production trends from time when piece was made and you assume that along those trends producers always needed some sort of balanced sound to translate well that should be enough to assume how it should sound. For example, if something is sticking out on a flat system: too much treble, some instrument way too forward, bass bloat it might mean producer was working in non-perfect environment. And then you might try to fix that to listen to same way he was. Simple as that.
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post #13 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 01:30 PM
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Listen to stuff from the "Reference Recording" label Kidding aside. All above make valid points. There are a lot of variables especially during the studio mix. Garbage in Garbage out. I have been fortunate enough to listen to unamplified accoustical and voice performances in some local music halls over years. The hall has to be good for acoustics some (many) are terrible. There are some recordings that have minimal production in them and are not recorded in a studio. The Cowboy Junkies Trinity Sessions comes to mind. If I recall it was recorded with one microphone in a church so this give somewhat of resemblance at home as if you were there when it was recorded.


edit: Interesting found this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Trinity_Session

memory does serve me well. The above describes the equipment used to record and how.
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post #14 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
I think for me in the end.....am I happy with how it sounds? .......not soo much the artists intent for me.

I am just frustrated in order to do that I need to tweek all the settings for each album down to almost each track to get what makes me happy.
Yeah, in production world thats called "mastering." Its essentially what many audiophiles attempt to do in all their futility via infinite gear tweaks and swaps. If they only knew that software that can make their dreams come true costs only few hundred bucks
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post #15 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
I know personal preference for audio sound signatures is really what it boils down to.




But, I have never heard exactly what anything is supposed to sound like.


Lots of car stereos, but who knows if it is actually what it was supposed to sound like....lots of home stereos etc.




But I have no reference to what a song is supposed to sound like to compare.


Given the endless supply of varied content and speakers, how I am I supposed to ever know what it was originally intended to sound like to compare to my system ?


I have heard and have settings that give me what I think sounds good.


I know as flat as possible is a rule of thumb......


Where does one go to find perfect sound or at least exactly what it is supposed to sound like......how can I ever say, that's how it is suppose to sound.


Concerts are a poor place to find accurate true sound....movie theaters are not that great, .......are even sound demo rooms any good for this.


I want to hear a song exactly how it should sound and then compare it to my room.


Is that futile, should one just set his or her room until they think it is perfect or set the room flat no matter if they like it or not.


Seems like to get that perfect sound signature I like for music, I could re do all the settings for each song to be happy. Setting the room flat, some songs sound great, some horrible......setting everything for the content being played back gets great results, then the next song or album needs all the settings different to sound what I consider great.


How does everyone deal with this or has anyone ever heard how anything is supposed to sound beyond a live unamplified orchestra ?


I just pick a album, play with the settings until it sounds outstanding, then listen to the album/cd/recording and change it all for the next one, otherwise it never sounds just right for all the different content. I have found no one group of settings that sound great for all content.


Is this what it means when one hits audiophile status....in the old days it was crank it loud and party on. Then later just blaming the recording itself when one cd sounded great and the next one horrible.


Now I would like to know what is the song even supposed to sound like to begin with......
This seems a red herring, because, for many reasons, you are asking about something that doesn't, and can't, exist. In short, there is no such thing as a "reference" sound.

Are your ears identical to the musician's ears? Really? How would you know? And even if they were, are they identical to the engineer's? The producer's? Each of those people will potentially have a say in the final "original" sound, and each will have different ideas about what sounds best. For one thing, many artists do not have the same goals as the engineer or the producer. And artists, especially new artists, often have no say in how the recording will sound - they're just "talent," not the money men. To take an extreme example, do you think Tina Turner had the same idea of how "River Deep, Mountain High" should sound as Phil Spector did? I doubt it. Many artistshave had no say not only in the sound of their work, but also no choice over who would play on it.

Second, the engineer is not likely to know how it will sound outside of the studio and his/her part in it. Engineers are bringing their own ideas, and their own favored measurements and tweaks, and they are listening very differently than you are anyway. And even then, when they play the final version for the band, say, and ask how it sounds, is everyone in the band going to agree? F*ck no, they aren't. In the best of worlds, the final product will be a compromise.

In the home, the room is your first component, followed by the speakers. Unless they are the same speakers used during the recording process (which you can just about guarantee won't be the case), in a space with the same acoustical signature as the room the recording was made in, then you are not going to hear what the engineer/producer/audience heard. And, of course, your hearing will differ from that of the others anyway.

Speaker design, speaker materials, size of the drivers - all these things will be different, usually, to what was used in the studio anyway.

And it's a fool's errand no matter what because of these reasons. We strive for accuracy without what knowing whether what we hear is accurate or not. The best I can think of is recordings that are revealing through the best speakers possible, understanding we can get close, but not perfect. And, of course, this contributes to the audiophile practice of listening to gear and not to the music. In which case, you've lost the plot.
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post #16 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 04:07 PM
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I think too many people try to eq/dsp their speakers instead of letting them play as designed...if you have too many room issues...sit closer to the speakers
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post #17 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 04:39 PM
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I think too many people try to eq/dsp their speakers instead of letting them play as designed...if you have too many room issues...sit closer to the speakers
I agree with this. I apply no dsp or eq when I listen to music, and I prefer it that way. I have taken time to mess with settings and it never makes me happy for long. So now I use Pure Direct mode with all my music, and am quite content with how it sounds. If you have to mess with your settings with every song or album, you probably have issues with speaker placement, room acoustics, or perhaps you just don't like your speakers as much as you think you do.

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post #18 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 05:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
Where does one go to find perfect sound or at least exactly what it is supposed to sound like......how can I ever say, that's how it is suppose to sound.
I think what you are trying to say is "perfect reproduced sound". That's what this forum is about, electronic audio reproduction system. In such case, it's easy to figure out the degree of fidelity of DAC, pre/amps. Just look at the measurements. Where it gets complicated is speakers and their interaction with room.
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post #19 of 135 Old 03-16-2018, 09:19 PM
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Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
I know personal preference for audio sound signatures is really what it boils down to.




But, I have never heard exactly what anything is supposed to sound like.


Lots of car stereos, but who knows if it is actually what it was supposed to sound like....lots of home stereos etc.




But I have no reference to what a song is supposed to sound like to compare.


Given the endless supply of varied content and speakers, how I am I supposed to ever know what it was originally intended to sound like to compare to my system ?


I have heard and have settings that give me what I think sounds good.


I know as flat as possible is a rule of thumb......


Where does one go to find perfect sound or at least exactly what it is supposed to sound like......how can I ever say, that's how it is suppose to sound.


Concerts are a poor place to find accurate true sound....movie theaters are not that great, .......are even sound demo rooms any good for this.


I want to hear a song exactly how it should sound and then compare it to my room.


Is that futile, should one just set his or her room until they think it is perfect or set the room flat no matter if they like it or not.


Seems like to get that perfect sound signature I like for music, I could re do all the settings for each song to be happy. Setting the room flat, some songs sound great, some horrible......setting everything for the content being played back gets great results, then the next song or album needs all the settings different to sound what I consider great.


How does everyone deal with this or has anyone ever heard how anything is supposed to sound beyond a live unamplified orchestra ?


I just pick a album, play with the settings until it sounds outstanding, then listen to the album/cd/recording and change it all for the next one, otherwise it never sounds just right for all the different content. I have found no one group of settings that sound great for all content.


Is this what it means when one hits audiophile status....in the old days it was crank it loud and party on. Then later just blaming the recording itself when one cd sounded great and the next one horrible.


Now I would like to know what is the song even supposed to sound like to begin with......
What one listens to in any room or performance hall is the aggregate of direct sound and the reflections that arrive at the listener's ear.

For an acid test, a decent set of circumaural headphones is an eye opener, you can compare fairly quickly what the direct sound from the source is, vs. your room contribution + speaker. There is no head related transfer function when using headphones either.

Increasing the ratio of direct sound to reflections can dramatically increase intelligibility: an extreme example would be a paging system in a subway where many hard surfaces with little attenuation of reflections leads to a garbled mess.

Increasing the on-axis sound pressure and reducing the amplitude of reflections can be accomplished with the use of horns, MTM or line arrays, absorption, and toe-in of the left and right loudspeakers.

This may be a good read for you:

https://www.prosoundtraining.com/201...-loudspeakers/
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Ask your doctor if DIY is right for you. Side effects of DIY may include anxiety, elevated blood pressure, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, skeletal muscle flaccidity, euphoria, psychological dependence, insomnia, confusion, blurred vision, implusivity, uncontrolled or repeated movements.
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I agree with this. I apply no dsp or eq when I listen to music, and I prefer it that way. I have taken time to mess with settings and it never makes me happy for long. So now I use Pure Direct mode with all my music, and am quite content with how it sounds. If you have to mess with your settings with every song or album, you probably have issues with speaker placement, room acoustics, or perhaps you just don't like your speakers as much as you think you do.
I did that for years and I was happy enough. However, now, if I want to hear those cymbals, a bit of EQ is in order. Age.
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I agree with this. I apply no dsp or eq when I listen to music, and I prefer it that way. I have taken time to mess with settings and it never makes me happy for long. So now I use Pure Direct mode with all my music, and am quite content with how it sounds. If you have to mess with your settings with every song or album, you probably have issues with speaker placement, room acoustics, or perhaps you just don't like your speakers as much as you think you do.
It depends.

I made the front half of my room as dead as possible, which allows for greater control over the acoustics with my 6.0 surround system. Now I can replace the muddying early drywall reflections with more deeply developed DSP reverberations that can make my small room seem like a larger performance venue.

Yes, some material is best left untouched. OTOH, it's thrilling to hear the surround processing pick up on and enhance the effects-rich sounds on Pat Metheny's Beyond The Missouri Sky. Makes me grab the remote to turn up the surround speakers.
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What if the artist's intent of the song or movie, was to annoy you. What then? hehe
(Mission accomplished! )

After all the years I've been on this planet I can only conclude one thing. 1) that god did it to prank and annoy us all.

Make's a pretty rainbow (that we can never-ever reach...)

What if the artist's intent was to make you feel like a woman. What then? hehe

or whatever the heck this creature is...
I really don't know!

But I do know that I feel ugly on the skin...


But in any case...
Somehow: I feel like you just aren't feeling the music... nor listening, closely enough...
LISTEN MORE CLOSELY!!!!!

Now if you were truly a golden-ear'ed audio-nut, you would have heard the axe swoop coming.
(But you didn't... )
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reference is a term thrown around loosely. Reference is what you think or feel it should sound like.

In my years and years of listening (probably like most of us) I can pick out what I like and don't like. Some people seem to not know at all what their own reference is and rely heavily upon others (which in all likelyhood also relied on others).

I'm a purist ..and short of measuring speaker distances I don't fk with anything other than sub volume and setting crossovers for them.

I don't think one needs a computer or someone to show up at their house to use another computer to use room correction nonsense.

You'll know what you like when you hear it and its likely to continually evolve as you hear other setups with other equipment. Your reference is just that... YOUR reference.

An easy analogy - Pizza Hut pizza is pretty kick ass if that is the only pizza you've ever tasted ... until you take a trip to Chicago or Brooklyn.

Lastly, take what you read about speakers and reference sound with a grain of salt. You'll know when you know.

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Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
What if the artist's intent of the song or movie, was to annoy you. What then? hehe


(Mission accomplished! )

After all the years I've been on this planet I can only conclude one thing. 1) that god did it to prank and annoy us all.

Make's a pretty rainbow (that we can never-ever reach...)

What if the artist's intent was to make you feel like a woman. What then? hehe



or whatever the heck this creature is...


I really don't know!

But I do know that I feel ugly on the skin...




But in any case...
Somehow: I feel like you just aren't feeling the music... nor listening, closely enough...


LISTEN MORE CLOSELY!!!!!

Now if you were truly a golden-ear'ed audio-nut, you would have heard the axe swoop coming.
(But you didn't... )
which reminds me...i saw this zombie movie were the zombie had to listen to smooth jazz because it made her feel at ease.
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Originally Posted by love_that_sound View Post
Reference is what you think or feel it should sound like.
Not in the world of hi-fi electronic sound reproduction.
Quote:
I don't think one needs a computer or someone to show up at their house to use another computer to use room correction nonsense.
Calling it "nonsense" make me wonder if you understand what it is.
Quote:
An easy analogy - Pizza Hut pizza is pretty kick ass if that is the only pizza you've ever tasted ... until you take a trip to Chicago or Brooklyn.
For real pizza reference, you would need to take a trip to Italy.
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I now think all we can do is get as close to flat as possible to eliminate any huge peaks/dips/ringing etc and then adjust to taste.....then feed the system quality source material.

I am not sure there is any thing other than flat and a certain volume that can be considered reference.



I now wonder if you took 5 different speaker designs and calibrated all 5 flat if there would be any discernable difference while listening at normal levels in a blind test?


I have had a bunch of speakers now and a few different designs. They all sounded different, but once REW was run and they were EQ`d flat they have all sounded pretty close to the same.

Link to Stereo Integrity SI HT 18 sub build......https://www.avsforum.com/forum/155-di...-pedestal.html
Speakers and subs for sale...https://www.avsforum.com/forum/209-au...kers-subs.html
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I now think all we can do is get as close to flat as possible to eliminate any huge peaks/dips/ringing etc and then adjust to taste.....then feed the system quality source material.

I am not sure there is any thing other than flat and a certain volume that can be considered reference.



I now wonder if you took 5 different speaker designs and calibrated all 5 flat if there would be any discernable difference while listening at normal levels in a blind test?


I have had a bunch of speakers now and a few different designs. They all sounded different, but once REW was run and they were EQ`d flat they have all sounded pretty close to the same.
There can be massive differences between speakers in dynamic range compression, where voice coil temperatures sap system sensitivity, in as little as a 3 minute long song.

Passive speaker crossovers introduce non-linear effects into the mix, and are an insertion loss compared to amplifiers driving the speaker units with DSP handling crossover functions and level matching.

Until one has experienced a truly low distortion reproduction system with headroom to spare, describing it is similar to trying to tell a person that was born blind what the color blue looks like.

In a real room, there will be differences from the speaker - boundary interaction. At some point, when the baffle size gets large enough, the baffle step frequency falls below the Schroeder frequency.

Large horns, large MTM's and line arrays can effectively lower ceiling and floor reflections.

The frequency response is only a small part of the picture. The human hearing system integrates reflections and the direct sound together.

Ask your doctor if DIY is right for you. Side effects of DIY may include anxiety, elevated blood pressure, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, skeletal muscle flaccidity, euphoria, psychological dependence, insomnia, confusion, blurred vision, implusivity, uncontrolled or repeated movements.
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I will leave this here:


Ask your doctor if DIY is right for you. Side effects of DIY may include anxiety, elevated blood pressure, lightheadedness, rapid heartbeat, skeletal muscle flaccidity, euphoria, psychological dependence, insomnia, confusion, blurred vision, implusivity, uncontrolled or repeated movements.
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Originally Posted by unretarded View Post
I now think all we can do is get as close to flat as possible to eliminate any huge peaks/dips/ringing etc and then adjust to taste.....then feed the system quality source material.

I am not sure there is any thing other than flat and a certain volume that can be considered reference.



I now wonder if you took 5 different speaker designs and calibrated all 5 flat if there would be any discernable difference while listening at normal levels in a blind test?


I have had a bunch of speakers now and a few different designs. They all sounded different, but once REW was run and they were EQ`d flat they have all sounded pretty close to the same.
Read the JBL M2 vs Revel thread in the speakers forum. You might be surprised at how different the speakers sounded after being EQ'd flat and level-matched...
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post #30 of 135 Old 03-18-2018, 12:21 PM
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which reminds me...i saw this zombie movie were the zombie had to listen to smooth jazz because it made her feel at ease.
Kenny G.
Like, SO relaxing bro...
(LMAO! )

But seriously:
You can't control what's on the disc. Garbage in, garbage out. Good rooms/speakers/electronics, it's a curse and a blessing... The better it is, the better good things sound, and the worse the things are, the worse the things sound. (Thanks captain obvious! )


If you took the top 500 mics and could somehow all place them in front of the singer at the same location all at once,
without changing anything else. You'd get 100% completely different sounds.

It all starts with a good mic and good mic'ing techniques.
But it's all subjective, we have all heard piano's recorded in the nearfield, and farfield, and stereophonically, they all have good and bad aspects and the only thing that has changed is the positioning of the mic. The gear and room is 100% unchanged.
Every position has some nulls and some peaks, there is no perfect-position.
You could even try any array of mics and apply averaging, but I'd bet that sounds bad too.
There is just no way to fix it, record in an anechoic chamber and it will sound dead.

We've also heard bad mic'ing (clipped guitars, drums and piano's are oh so common, to the point of driving me crazy in fact!)


My system is fully active (all subs and for all the drivers in all the speakers.)
I could play with the settings for 100 years, but I don't.
I don't need to... it's good as-is.

I never touch the settings on my gear (except for master volume and bass volume.)
I'm sure I am largely biased but my system sounds like magic to me! It's really good sounding.
My system is pretty expensive and esoteric/exotic though.

For starters I have 3 grand worth of mics and 11 of the 8-channel sabre reference DAC's in my system (another 8 grand), the most recent 2017-2018 upgrades to my system, giving me up to 64 channels of discrete audio at -145db SNR and running at 24/192.
Because I use an Intel i7 8700 for the DSP, I can apply EQ and XO's down to like 0.01Hz.
It is not only in a dedicated room, it is in a dedicated building. 200amps of power just for one room.
I have puresine UPS's and SurgeX protectors on everything.
29 subwoofers. Fostex supertweeters to 50khz.
100db/watt, and soon-enough nearly 100kW on tap.
I must be approaching $100k at this point, if not a bit more...

It's cray cray. (as it should be )

If we ignore companies and millionaires and the >$20k gear(s) AVS section (or Saudi trillionaires )
I honestly think I might have the best-overall (middle-class civilian) audio system on the planet.
Certainly in the top 20, and climbing. If not the top 5.

So it makes total sense why I "might" enjoy the sound at this level.

That said, my projector and room isn't all that great, there is always LOTS of room for improvements...
It's a never ending battle/war against "you people", and the winner gets a chicken dinner; or a golden-donkey award, I can't tell which... (but I'm gunning for it regardless.)
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Last edited by BassThatHz; 03-18-2018 at 12:41 PM.
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