Jump to content
IGNORED

The First Transducer.


sphinxsix
 Share

Recommended Posts

Transducers are the important part. I have good reason to believe that everything other than transducers are effectively transparent with modern gear.

 

So the first transducer and space it is in plus the last transducer and space it is in are the biggest determiners of sound quality limits.

 

It is interesting the two approaches taken in that article. One is horses for courses in trying to get a pleasing or desired result. The other is taking one good approach and ringing everything out of it to also get a desired result.

 

You also notice no one is using the most 'accurate' mic as the article is written. Though someone like Barry D using his wideband Earthworks mics could be said to use accurate microphones. I am not so sure that isn't a mistake to try and get sources and mics to match so inaccurate results happen to be pleasing. With DSP in time one may learn to get as accurately mic'd as possible and flavor with more control and precision via DSP. Then again, while the article is true, most issues with recording in modern times come from the processing in between recording and playback. Those effects can overshadow everything else detrimentally much more often than they are helpful.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very interesting article on role and importance of microphones in the recording process:

The First Transducer | Stereophile.com

 

 

I read that editorial piece in the latest Stereophile. He is certainly correct about microphone quality being probably the most important link in the recording chain, but he overlooked something that is just as important: microphone placement and use. Many a bad recording has started with expensive, well regarded pro mikes from Neumann, AKG, Telefunken etc and ruined by being used incorrectly. For instance, A symphony orchestra recorded with a forest of microphones, can never sound like a real orchestra, but a really good single stereo pair can give a palpable you-are-there presentation that sounds like the music was meant to sound with all the correct balances between instrumental sections that was intended by both the composer and the conductor. I offer this anecdotal example: Back in 1958, British Decca (London Records here in the Colonies) was recording Ralph Vaughn William's 2nd Symphony with Sir Adrian Boult. When listening to the playback, the composer suddenly yelled "Cut". The producer and engineers in the control room all turned and looked at him puzzled. "What's wrong?" Asked the producer. "Why can I hear the tuba?" asked RVW. "Oh, we had to put an accent mike on the tuba because the main mikes weren't picking it up." "You're not supposed to either hear it or pick it up, It's only there to help the rest of the brasses keep time. That's why the tuba player is playing so softly!"

 

Well, Every multi-miked recording of Vaughn Williams 2nd has that tuba's rhythmic voomp-voomp-voomp clearly, and loudly audible in the right channel. The exception is the EMI/HMV recording done by Boult and the LSO in the late 60's. He KNEW better by that time.

 

Now, I realize that even in the most purist of recording sessions, some instruments need 'highlighting', I've had to do it myself, but always with the highlight mike being subordinate to the overall stereo pair and carefully panned into the correct right-to-left position that the physical instrument actually occupies. The instrument comes up in volume with respect to the rest of the ensemble, but the listener never notices that it was augmented. I've had to do this with piano, and harp mostly.

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Transducers are the important part. I have good reason to believe that everything other than transducers are effectively transparent with modern gear."

 

That would mean all other components would have to sound the same.

There's a lot less variation between amps than speakers. Any differences between good solid-state amps are subtle. Often they're noticed only when driving difficult speakers, and in these cases simply using a bigger amp is the solution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a lot less variation between amps than speakers. Any differences between good solid-state amps are subtle. Often they're noticed only when driving difficult speakers, and in these cases simply using a bigger amp is the solution.

 

It would be interesting to find out whether in a comparison of, e.g., a First Watt SS amp, a SET tube amp, a Pass high powered Class A amp and a high powered tube amp from Audio Research (into very efficient, e.g. horn, speakers and also with suitable music so the power difference isn't obvious), the greater similarities would be between amps of similar componentry or between amps of similar power rating. (And maybe throw a good class D amp into the mix to see how different/similar it sounds to the others.)

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to find out whether in a comparison of, e.g., a First Watt SS amp, a SET tube amp, a Pass high powered Class A amp and a high powered tube amp from Audio Research (into very efficient, e.g. horn, speakers and also with suitable music so the power difference isn't obvious), the greater similarities would be between amps of similar componentry or between amps of similar power rating. (And maybe throw a good class D amp into the mix to see how different/similar it sounds to the others.)

 

I have a class A mono blocks (Gryphon) and hybrid AB mono blocks (Vincent) same power rating , The Gryphon are simply in an other league even for the electricity bill:)

 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Transducers are the important part. I have good reason to believe that everything other than transducers are effectively transparent with modern gear."

 

That would mean all other components would have to sound the same.

 

That is what it would mean. And it is what I believe. Exceptions being components designed to have a sound rather than being neutral, and of course amplifiers connected to speaker loads which are beyond their capabilities to play adequately. I also don't think there are very many exceptions.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to find out whether in a comparison of, e.g., a First Watt SS amp, a SET tube amp, a Pass high powered Class A amp and a high powered tube amp from Audio Research (into very efficient, e.g. horn, speakers and also with suitable music so the power difference isn't obvious), the greater similarities would be between amps of similar componentry or between amps of similar power rating. (And maybe throw a good class D amp into the mix to see how different/similar it sounds to the others.)

 

SET amps generally have more measurable distortion than do other types of amps, but whether this is audible or not is another story. By audible, I mean is there enough more distortion to make the SET sound "different" (I.E. not as clean) from the other technologies. Humans are pretty insensitive to this kind of distortion if it's mostly even-order HD. Odd-order distortion is less well tolerated because it is not consonant with music. Early Class D amps were pretty poor sounding (for whatever reason)and they gained a bad reputation because of it. I know audiophiles who turn their noses up at the very mention of a "digital amplifier" of any kind, and won't even entertain the idea of one. They're wrong. I bought a cheap Berhinger iNuke NU1000 class D amp (150 WPC/8Ω) for $150 to serve as a backup. People who heard it couldn't believe how good it sounded for the price or how much power it had, or how light it was (<8 pounds). Still, to some people it was a digital amp, and therefore beneath any consideration.

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a lot less variation between amps than speakers. Any differences between good solid-state amps are subtle. Often they're noticed only when driving difficult speakers, and in these cases simply using a bigger amp is the solution.

 

In theory maybe, but in practice 2 good SS amps can sound very different. Are you into audio at all? I don't recall you ever mentioning a system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In theory maybe, but in practice 2 good SS amps can sound very different. Are you into audio at all? I don't recall you ever mentioning a system.

 

Remove sight and your eyes might be opened.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In theory maybe, but in practice 2 good SS amps can sound very different. Are you into audio at all? I don't recall you ever mentioning a system.

 

It doesn't matter what system I have. Mentioning it would only be a distraction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would be interesting to find out whether in a comparison of, e.g., a First Watt SS amp, a SET tube amp, a Pass high powered Class A amp and a high powered tube amp from Audio Research (into very efficient, e.g. horn, speakers and also with suitable music so the power difference isn't obvious), the greater similarities would be between amps of similar componentry or between amps of similar power rating. (And maybe throw a good class D amp into the mix to see how different/similar it sounds to the others.)

 

I've actually done that with similar equipment and can tell you the differences between the amps is pretty big. You don't have to use super efficient speakers either. Your Vandersteens are much better suited for the task. They may not be as efficient, but if you set them up right, you'll be hard pressed to find a more neutral speaker.

 

Some amps I had in the same system to compare with each other are: Pass Aleph 0's, ARC VT-100, VAC 30/30, Rowland 112, Ayre V-5's, McCormack DNA-125, ARC Class T (that's what ARC calles their Class D amps), Krell KAV-250. The differences between these amps, for the most part, was huge. The Pass and the VAC were most similar sounding. The mid's on the Ayre and the McCormack were also similar, but not the rest. The VT-100 and the DNA-125 were the most SS sounding. I still have 3 of those amps, so I'm not going completely on long term memory.

 

I've always wanted to hear a Spectral Vandersteen combo like you have. Its an interesting combination. I had a DMA-180 for a while, but I didn't have Vandersteens at the same time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't matter what system I have. Mentioning it would only be a distraction.

 

A distraction from what? If your experience is different from mine, that's OK. If you have 10 people listen to the same system, you'll probably get 10 different answers on how it sounds.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A distraction from what? If your experience is different from mine, that's OK. If you have 10 people listen to the same system, you'll probably get 10 different answers on how it sounds.

A distraction from whatever is being discussed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ATC Super Linear transducers are so wonderfully transparent that you can clearly hear the differences in other components in the chain.

 

;-)

 

 

That is what it would mean. And it is what I believe. Exceptions being components designed to have a sound rather than being neutral, and of course amplifiers connected to speaker loads which are beyond their capabilities to play adequately. I also don't think there are very many exceptions.

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ATC Super Linear transducers are so wonderfully transparent that you can clearly hear the differences in other components in the chain.

 

;-)

 

Not even ATC claims that. They claim a reduction of 10-15 db of 3rd harmonic distortion which rivals electronic distortion between 100-3khz. I am pretty sure they still have more distortion than a good ESL panel which is still the only transducer that can approach levels of distortion similar to electronics from around 100 hz and higher. Both ATC drivers and ESL's suffer from FR issues. ESL's that also have room correction applied can get you very far along the spectrum of transparency and accuracy or as I like to call it fidelity.

 

Still, if ATC or other transducer tech gives us truly accurate results then so much the better. They are still the most inaccurate part of the whole chain by an order of magnitude. We are very near the point of using DSP to correct the transducers at both ends and have control of the real sound quality. Or as a young nurse recently told me, "man, the future is really going to be something. It is going to be fantastic and wonderful. I can hardly wait for it." Amen to that.

 

We may be near the point an intelligently designed $2000 speaker or speakers and subs could effectively be transparent, meaning a $2500 system could be full SOTA. Then all we have left is the deficiencies of the stereo paradigm itself.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get that drivers are where most of the distortion occurs but you need to hear ATC SLs for yourself to appreciate my point on clarity/transparency.

 

;-)

 

 

Not even ATC claims that. They claim a reduction of 10-15 db of 3rd harmonic distortion which rivals electronic distortion between 100-3khz. I am pretty sure they still have more distortion than a good ESL panel which is still the only transducer that can approach levels of distortion similar to electronics from around 100 hz and higher. Both ATC drivers and ESL's suffer from FR issues. ESL's that also have room correction applied can get you very far along the spectrum of transparency and accuracy or as I like to call it fidelity.

 

Still, if ATC or other transducer tech gives us truly accurate results then so much the better. They are still the most inaccurate part of the whole chain by an order of magnitude. We are very near the point of using DSP to correct the transducers at both ends and have control of the real sound quality. Or as a young nurse recently told me, "man, the future is really going to be something. It is going to be fantastic and wonderful. I can hardly wait for it." Amen to that.

 

We may be near the point an intelligently designed $2000 speaker or speakers and subs could effectively be transparent, meaning a $2500 system could be full SOTA. Then all we have left is the deficiencies of the stereo paradigm itself.

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or you need to hear properly set up ESLs!

I get that drivers are where most of the distortion occurs but you need to hear ATC SLs for yourself to appreciate my point on clarity/transparency.

 

;-)

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have, many times but unfotunately they are unable to replicate the sheer scale and power of large active ATCs, combined with their transparency it is this trinity that is ATC's killer combination - there is a balance to be had of course but I always favour clarity at high SPLs at full range, nothing else turns my pages.

 

 

Or you need to hear properly set up ESLs!

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now you are moving the goal posts! LOL I agree about the power of ATC, but I've yet to hear a speaker that can compete with the 200hz and up detail retrieval of my Soundlabs.

I have, many times but unfotunately they are unable to replicate the sheer scale and power of large active ATCs, combined with their transparency it is this trinity that is ATC's killer combination - there is a balance to be had of course but I always favour clarity at high SPLs at full range, nothing else turns my pages.

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If only we were down the road from each other we could have had a 'speaker off'... You obviously know what you're talking about in any case, so we should respectfully salute each other for having built great systems.

 

;-)

 

 

Now you are moving the goal posts! LOL I agree about the power of ATC, but I've yet to hear a speaker that can compete with the 200hz and up detail retrieval of my Soundlabs.

Source:

*Aurender N100 (no internal disk : LAN optically isolated via FMC with *LPS) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch - split for *LPS) > Intona Industrial (injected *LPS / internally shielded with copper tape) > DIY 5cm USB link (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > W4S Recovery (*LPS) > DIY 2cm USB adaptor (5v rail removed / ground lift switch) > *Auralic VEGA (EXACT : balanced)

 

Control:

*Jeff Rowland CAPRI S2 (balanced)

 

Playback:

2 x Revel B15a subs (balanced) > ATC SCM 50 ASL (balanced - 80Hz HPF from subs)

 

Misc:

*Via Power Inspired AG1500 AC Regenerator

LPS: 3 x Swagman Lab Audiophile Signature Edition (W4S, Intona & FMC)

Storage: QNAP TS-253Pro 2x 3Tb, 8Gb RAM

Cables: DIY heavy gauge solid silver (balanced)

Mains: dedicated distribution board with 5 x 2 socket ring mains, all mains cables: Mark Grant Black Series DSP 2.5 Dual Screen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No worries- Salute!

If only we were down the road from each other we could have had a 'speaker off'... You obviously know what you're talking about in any case, so we should respectfully salute each other for having built great systems.

 

;-)

Forrest:

Win10 i9 9900KS/GTX1060 HQPlayer4>Win10 NAA

DSD>Pavel's DSC2.6>Bent Audio TAP>

Parasound JC1>"Naked" Quad ESL63/Tannoy PS350B subs<100Hz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share



×
×
  • Create New...