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Audiophile Jokes and Anecdotes.

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On 5/29/2020 at 1:26 AM, Digi&Analog Fan said:

The other guy said.  "Yeah, when the salesman comes back in, lets ask him what size of person these speakers were designed for anyway." 


Well, in the case of my Wilson Audio Sasha II’s, they’re set for someone sitting 9’6” away whose ears are 40 1/2 inches above the floor. 😬

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It would seem to me that to have truly simultaneous arrival times between the tweeter and midrange, the tweeter would have to be moved back further still, as a 1 inch tweeter obviously has faster response time than a 5 inch midrange. If you looked at phase aligned speakers from the side, the acoustic centers of the drivers were supposed to be in a straight line, up and down, from tweeter to woofer. It doesn't make perfect sense to me, but I think I liked the sound of phase aligned speakers anyway. Even the Japanese at times were phase aligning speakers for a while, as far back as the 1970s. Some Japanese speakers now, are really good, and there were at least some back then to be taken real seriously.  

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6 minutes ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

as a 1 inch tweeter obviously has faster response time than a 5 inch midrange

Why do you think that?


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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On 5/29/2020 at 7:26 AM, Digi&Analog Fan said:

Remember linear phase and phase aligned speakers? The idea was to place the speakers tweeter further back in or on the cabinet, so their acoustic centers where the sound comes from, would be equidistant to the listeners ears and produce simultaneous arrival times. There was a short guy and a very tall guy  both sitting in chairs auditioning the phase aligned speakers. One of the guys suddenly remarked, "I just thought of something, if you're a foot taller than me, the tweeter on top is way closer to your ears than to mine. My ears are lower down and closer to the midrange driver than yours. I'm hearing the midrange first and then the tweeter and you're hearing the tweeter first and then the midrange."

 

The other guy said.  "Yeah, when the salesman comes back in, lets ask him what size of person these speakers were designed for anyway." 

 

As strange as it may sound, different speakers change the way they sound to a different degree in correlation with the change of the listener's ears height. With the ones I use the effect is among the strongest ones I've ever heard. Maybe the reason is that their time/phase alignment is simply top notch. Their maker used to pay lots of attention to this aspect of performance, he even used the term 'point source' in this regard (despite the fact that mine are 4-way speakers). Even more interesting is the fact that they sound best when the listener's ears are on the midrange driver level (usually it's the tweeter height). They are quite tall so they were clearly designed to be listened to in that way, cause in case of an average man height of 180cm it would be even very difficult to find the right armchair. Now the part that qualifies somewhere between the 'Audiophile anecdotes' and 'Tweaks' threads. Since my ears were much to low while sitting in my 'listening armchair' (the most comfortable one from about 50 I tried back in the 90's!) and since the difference in SQ was so distinct depending on my ears height, I had taken my beloved armchair to a carpenter and asked him to make a mechanism allowing for a quick, simple change of its height of a little less than 10cm for which I paid almost as much as for the armchair itself. Anyway I still rank the tweak's SQ improvement to cost ratio very (nomen omen) high x-D


What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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I think 1 inch tweeters would generally be faster responding by having less mass than drivers 5 times their size. I know there could be exceptions to the rule. One of the fastest dome tweeters I ever owned with the best transient articulation, was an older model top of the line Scanspeak. It must have had one great magnet in back as it weighad more than some woofers I have encountered, being only a one inch dome tweeter. The old Sony bio-cellulose tweeter made from bacterial matter, from their La Voce series is very fast also.

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19 minutes ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

I think 1 inch tweeters would generally be faster responding by having less mass than drivers 5 times their size.

But they are likely to be handling different frequencies and have different magnet assemblies, so the mass should not be a relevant factor.

 


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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I just assume they would be faster because it would be logical that something smaller with less mass would tend to have faster acceleration time and I think that's what I subjectively tend to hear. Also, even though a tweeter is covering different frequencies, there is much overlapping of an instruments harmonic overtone structure (which can span many octaves, between tweeter and midrange), which I always view as a "team". I used to have equipment that got too dark sounding after playing about 3 records in a row. It would lose its crispness and sparkle and even the bass guitar lines, way below in frequency sounded way less articulated over it. Even mid to upper bass transients rely on a bit of crispness for their greatest articulation.

 

 The vintage speaker company EPI always said that they would not ever consider using anything above an 8 inch woofer in their speakers, as they felt it would not be ideal for bass transient response. Although I think they did use a passive radiator "once" that might have been slightly bigger than that. Some modern companies like Totem tend to favor smaller woofers usually also. I like the sound of electric bass guitar, and sounding light, fleet, well articulated, and effortless in what I call the "fancy range" is what I really enjoy, much more than sheer oomph. Speakers with huge woofers usually make the bass guitar sound a little too heavy in my favorite range, and they can also make the midrange sound too dark and murky which works at odds with transparency. As far as my personal sonic listening preferences, there is a fine line between warmth and transparency, that a little too much in either way really destroys it. 

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10 minutes ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

I just assume they would be faster because it would be logical that something smaller with less mass would tend to have faster acceleration time and I think that's what I subjectively tend to hear. Also, even though a tweeter is covering different frequencies, there is much overlapping of an instruments harmonic overtone structure (which can span many octaves, between tweeter and midrange), which I always view as a "team". I used to have equipment that got too dark sounding after playing about 3 records in a row. It would lose its crispness and sparkle and even the bass guitar lines, way below in frequency sounded way less articulated over it. Even mid to upper bass transients rely on a bit of crispness for their greatest articulation.

 

 The vintage speaker company EPI always said that they would not ever consider using anything above an 8 inch woofer in their speakers, as they felt it would not be ideal for bass transient response. Although I think they did use a passive radiator "once" that might have been slightly bigger than that. Some modern companies like Totem tend to favor smaller woofers usually also. I like the sound of electric bass guitar, and sounding light, fleet, well articulated, and effortless in what I call the "fancy range" is what I really enjoy, much more than sheer oomph. Speakers with huge woofers usually make the bass guitar sound a little too heavy in my favorite range, and they can also make the midrange sound too dark and murky which works at odds with transparency. As far as my personal sonic listening preferences, there is a fine line between warmth and transparency, that a little too much in either way really destroys it. 

 

There are some 12 and 13 in woofers that are really very fast. The application (electronic and acoustic design) also matters.

 


What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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19 minutes ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

I just assume they would be faster because it would be logical that something smaller with less mass would tend to have faster acceleration time and I think that's what I subjectively tend to hear.

My daughter's MB S95 is faster than my Audi A4. 


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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I think we all do a little "time binding". Time binding is a term used by Alfred Korzybski back in the 1940's in his controversial work and book. He is considered the founder of General Semantics. Time binding means that each new generation of scientists, instead of starting from scratch, they accept presumed assumptions of former generations of the greatest scientists to be so, and build on their work. Every so often a presumed assumption (often from the previous generation of scientists) is found to be wrong. Which requires re-thinking  by the current scientists, with the implication not to use that "wrong" presumed assumption in their work. Because if you start out with an assumption that is wrong, even if your reasoning could be perfect from there, you will end up with a wrong conclusion. Based on generations of experience by other people, many of which were considered the best audio "scientists" of all time, most audiophiles (as myself) are under the impression that generally smaller drivers with way less mass, respond faster than larger mass drivers. I am not an expert on large woofers. Many modern systems with large woofers have been described as "fast" with good transient response. I have no reason to doubt this. I just think that I believe what most serious audiophiles believe, including experts on DIY forums, that smaller drivers are generally faster and more responsive than ones many times their size. That seems to be the general way things work in life, whether it be a speed contest between a bus and a Ferrari, a very fat person and a thin in shape person etc. Most people know where their bets would lie. Notwithstanding the old SNL John Belushi commercial where he is a track champion training on and promoting the eating of large quantities of donuts 

 

 My first speaker I built from scratch (did purchase the drivers) and on my first try I achieved incredibly tuneful and tight bass, by virtually any standard. Don't ask me what the cabinet was shaped like. Being me, I wasun't about to do anything conventional, or miss the opportunity of trying something really unique. I like to think out of the box and challenge presumed assumptions. But only up to a point that's reasonable.

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I wasn't the one to alter the flow, but didn't you like the Jon Belushi analogy? Plus it could be viewed as funny that such a scholarly discussion on transient response should make its way onto here.

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Not that I'm anywhere near out of material, but this kind of correlates with "size" and its expectations.True story by the way.

 

 Many years ago I put an ad in the cities newpaers classified to sell a pair of speakers. Someone called me on the phone and I gave them directions to my house. I left the back door open (remember those days) and a petite youngish woman led a larger middle aged man through the door and into my living room. Her one hand was on his forearm and her other hand was higher up near his shoulder. He was obviously blind. I said would you like a demonstration? I can turn them on. The guy politely shook his head no as the girl uninterruptably led him toward the speaker. He reached over and felt the speaker, sizing it up with his hands from every conceivable angle, and then he stood up and shook his head to the girl "no" and the girl helped him turn around, back toward the door. "Only a hundred bucks" I said, but they kept walking and went out the door. I watched them leave and sat back on my couch. Something bothered me. There was something wrong that I couldn't put my finger on, that I couldn't figure out. Then it dawned on me and hit me like a ton of bricks. She led him into the drivers seat, and she went around to the passenger seat.... Many years later, in another state, I did see a blind man riding a ten speed bike on the sidewalk. His cane was rapidly  going back and forth to beat sixty. 

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1 hour ago, Superdad said:

I come to this thread for the jokes and anecdotes.  What happened? :o:P

 

As the OP I'm ok with derailing this thread in every possible way B|

The only guarantee of finding new jokes and anecdotes is posting them first :P

 


What’s true of all the evils in the world is true of plague as well.
It helps men to rise above themselves.
 
  ―  Albert Camus, The Plague.

 

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There was something called the Levinson HQD System years ago. Ultra expensive for its time. It combined, among other things stacked Quad 57 electrostatics with if I remember correctly, 24 inch Hartley subwoofers. Were the huge subs able to keep up with the fast electrostats? Or were they ridiculously lagging behind? Never heard it, maybe some of you have. The biggest sounding amps I ever heard, all had exceptionally big transformers. That's one I am more sure about. Any exception, equipment wise to that observation?

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10 hours ago, Digi&Analog Fan said:

There was something called the Levinson HQD System years ago. Ultra expensive for its time. It combined, among other things stacked Quad 57 electrostatics with if I remember correctly, 24 inch Hartley subwoofers

You got the H and the Q but left out the D for the Decca-Kelly Ribbon tweeter. 😎


Kal Rubinson

Music in the Round

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

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13 hours ago, Superdad said:

I come to this thread for the jokes and anecdotes.  What happened? :o:P


I might be the one who derailed the thread. Digi&Analog Fan told a joke where the punchline was what size listener the speakers were designed for and I responded with the size of the listener my adjustable Wilson speakers are set for. The thread went off topic from there. Sorry. 

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