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14 hours ago, fas42 said:

First noted this about 15 years ago - was using an amp with the usual treble and bass controls; when the amp was not firing, the effect of the tone controls was obvious; when I temporarily lifted its performance to a decent level, I found it almost impossible to detect that swinging of the pots from one end to the other was doing anything significant to what I was hearing.

 

Sorry man, I can't follow this as it clearly makes no sense. You're claiming that there is a special setting at which gross frequency manipulation with treble and bass controls suddenly is no longer audible? That's an extraordinary claim and you know what they say about extraordinary claims and the level of evidence needed.

 

Lots of stuff in this next part - I'll just respond to a few of them...

 

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Sigh ... put on a recording that you find particularly objectionable to listen to - you will say, "It's a bad recording!" ... I will come in, and say, "Right, I can hear all sorts of distortion being excited, in the playback chain, by the nature of that recording". They're the symptoms of an 'unhealthy' playback system - I now have specific aches and pains to work on ...

 

This is an important one: So in your worldview, there is no such things as bad recordings? And do you believe there is a setting for a system such that all recordings sound good and do not excite "distortions"?

 

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Strangely enough, I do use a multimeter - Oh, horror!! 😜 ... but the vast majority of symptoms don't need any measurin' - if something is audible that shouldn't be there, then you have a problem.

 

A specific example, which I have mentioned several times in posts - my original Big Mutha amplifier, 35 years ago, showed distortion appearing in the treble above a certain volume. Carefully working through it, it turned out that the unit's power supply was not good enough; this was resolved after various attempts at simple tweaking, by completely restructuring the smoothing capacitor area ... problem solved.

 

Everything I do is based on the same principles that, say, makes you decide that a radio needs a better aerial  - not good enough aerial, audio is too distorted; better aerial, the distortion goes away.

 

Like I said, these are nice examples that you can highlight on your blog with case write-ups. Write them out in detail so people can understand what was done and consider for themselves. Vague descriptions like these will not sway anyone that your solutions are meaningful.

 

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Some people like, for example, grotesque "bass" - I could call it, the "home theatre car door slam" effect - in the shot, all the people get out of the vehicle, one by one - and firmly close the door. And each time, a wrecking ball gives the walls of the room a solid whack ...well, last time I got out of a car I didn't hear anything like that happening ... 😉.

 

Subjective judgment you're making. I agree that often the effects are overdone. But if that's what was intended by artists, movie producers, etc... I can object that it doesn't sound good but I don't expect my system to "filter out" what was on the soundtrack.

 

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Lack of distortion always comes before extension, for me. Well done deep bass is expensive, so I don't worry about it.

 

 

Again, very subjective judgment. Fine if you don't care for a system that extends down to 20Hz. Many audiophiles want that and they get joy out of hearing/feeling the frequencies on their organ recordings and movie explosions. If you're not worried about deep bass, that's your prerogative - some people can't hear above 12kHz and say there's no point having tweeters that hit 20kHz as well. But if you're not worried because of personal financial limitation (ie. you can't afford a system that goes that low cleanly), then please don't use that to oppose the opinion of others that low frequencies are of value to them.

 

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So, you would (have, sic?) trouble listening to live music if the room wasn't "right"?

 

Yes. I would not want to listen to a string quartet in an echoey cellar, and Diana Krall singing in my bathroom will do nothing for me. 

 

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The most effective add-on would be sounds ... examples of SQ in the right zone; examples in the wrong zone - I have done that on occasion, but the comments thereafter demonstrate a desire to disregard the aspect that matters, and not be intelligent about the point I'm trying to make.

 

Sure. Include sounds. The more complete the "picture" of what you're doing the better.

 

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Theory's good ... but it's always been a struggle to go back to activities where the 'novelty' has worn off - I used to be a voracious reader, until one day I stopped reading halfway through a volume, and to this day have no interest in reading, unless it's to find out information ...

 

Fine. And I see from a previous post that you have bad fatigue.

 

Anyhow, I hope you feel better and I don't think there's anything more to add unless there's "actionable" information to address. I hope at some point you can provide more concrete details on your blog. Like I said, pre- and post- images and sounds would be great. Case examples would be fantastic, to demonstrate your technique and results. I would have difficulty taking many of your comments seriously otherwise.


Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

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2 minutes ago, Archimago said:

Sorry man, I can't follow this as it clearly makes no sense. You're claiming that there is a special setting at which gross frequency manipulation with treble and bass controls suddenly is no longer audible?

 

Some amplifiers used to have a "Direct" button that would bypass the tone controls...


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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1 hour ago, Archimago said:

 

Sorry man, I can't follow this as it clearly makes no sense. You're claiming that there is a special setting at which gross frequency manipulation with treble and bass controls suddenly is no longer audible? That's an extraordinary claim and you know what they say about extraordinary claims and the level of evidence needed.

 

There is a 'setting' of SQ where the mind no longer takes notice of FR variations - of course it actually does, but subjectively you "still hear the same thing" - go back, again, to listening to live music - if there is a dip in the FR somewhere because of room effects, your brain doesn't tell you, "Uh oh, I'll have to shift my position - it doesn't sound right" ... and the same brain processing switches on if the replay quality reaches a certain standard.

 

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This is an important one: So in your worldview, there is no such things as bad recordings? And do you believe there is a setting for a system such that all recordings sound good and do not excite "distortions"?

 

 

Yes, indeed it is. This attitude developed over many years - even when I was achieving a very high standard, I still had recordings that were "no good" - only to get a shock when enough of the integrity of the setup further snapped into shape, because of some new refinement; and the recording came good.

 

So, the motto has been precisely that, for some years now ... "There no such thing as a bad recording". Note, it is not a "setting", for the playback chain - it's developing the awareness of when the system is adding distortion to the playback, and then doing what's needed to eliminate or reduce that unwanted artifact to the point of being inaudible.

 

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Like I said, these are nice examples that you can highlight on your blog with case write-ups. Write them out in detail so people can understand what was done and consider for themselves. Vague descriptions like these will not sway anyone that your solutions are meaningful.

 

Have you read through, on the blog, A More Ambitious Upgrade - Part 1, onwards?

 

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Subjective judgment you're making. I agree that often the effects are overdone. But if that's what was intended by artists, movie producers, etc... I can object that it doesn't sound good but I don't expect my system to "filter out" what was on the soundtrack.

 

The point is that the effects should not be exaggerated by characteristics of the playback - the car door slamming sequence showcased that the particular rig was overcooking that area.

 

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Again, very subjective judgment. Fine if you don't care for a system that extends down to 20Hz. Many audiophiles want that and they get joy out of hearing/feeling the frequencies on their organ recordings and movie explosions. If you're not worried about deep bass, that's your prerogative - some people can't hear above 12kHz and say there's no point having tweeters that hit 20kHz as well. But if you're not worried because of personal financial limitation (ie. you can't afford a system that goes that low cleanly), then please don't use that to oppose the opinion of others that low frequencies are of value to them.

 

This is where the "missing fundamental" behaviour comes in ... there is an obsessive audio enthusiast further up the road than the friend, who has massively heavy, sealed subwoofers - we ran a frequency sweep and could clearly hear extension to the bottom of the range, and, it was extremely clean. The whole ensemble was running through a DEQX, which had been repeatedly calibrated, and it was set up as an active system, amplifier per driver. So I pulled out my test, pipe organ CD - this should be good, eh ... 😉 ... Ummm, no. It wimped out, the majesty and glory of that sound, live, went missing - the notes may have been there, but it didn't work - hit Stop pretty quickly, with that one.

 

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Yes. I would not want to listen to a string quartet in an echoey cellar, and Diana Krall singing in my bathroom will do nothing for me. 

 

Again, you are using extreme examples ...

 

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Sure. Include sounds. The more complete the "picture" of what you're doing the better.

 

OK.

 

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Fine. And I see from a previous post that you have bad fatigue.

 

Anyhow, I hope you feel better and I don't think there's anything more to add unless there's "actionable" information to address. I hope at some point you can provide more concrete details on your blog. Like I said, pre- and post- images and sounds would be great. Case examples would be fantastic, to demonstrate your technique and results. I would have difficulty taking many of your comments seriously otherwise.

 

There's no "better", ever - I just have to pace myself, and that way I keep out of trouble.

 

The biggest problem is that unless you are live in a room with a system, that can produce this subjective presentation, and can demonstrate how the illusion collapses if you "pull a small stone out from under one of the supporting pillars" - then these are all just words. There are members on this forum who understand how precarious it is achieving the necessary SQ - I've been at it a lot longer, and have learned a lot of 'tricks' on the way.

 

The best "doctor" is the one who can understand, almost immediately, what is wrong with you as you start talking - this only occurs when he's been "on the job" for a long time; an intuition develops, and he cuts through many testing procedures, "because he's been there before".

 


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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On the TV side of things, I must say I'm getting pretty happy with this new set - a very slight adjustment to get a touch better balance on skin tones; and changed how I adjust the settings between bright daylight, and night viewing.

 

So, what the point of worrying about a simple TV? Well, it's all about the ease of taking in whatever happens to be showing - it's now in a zone that no matter what the image style is, that it "always works" - I have got might close to not being able to pick that the set is doing anything that even slightly jars, with what's being displayed. Super poppy colour, totally muted tones, all ring true - the set is "disappearing" as much as it can while I'm viewing.

 

Hmmm, what was the magic performed to get here? ... Well, steady step by step adjusting of the completely normal controls, until everything was in the "sweetest" zone with regard to the intrinsic limitations of that TV ... 😝.

 


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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Still with the TV, since the picture is probably very close to optimal, thought I would try out what can be done with its sound ... 😝.

 

Not going into the set, ever - this is merely to see what can be squeezed out, while treating it as a sealed box. The previous set had forward facing speakers, while this is the "speakers squashed somewhere around the back", guaranteeing it's much harder work to get "clear sound". When first trying it out I played with the usual set of EQ sliders to get a decent overall sense to the sound ... (wait, didn't he say FR doesn't matter?!!) ... ummm, that only switches on when the SQ is above a certain standard; below that, normal considerations apply. So, fairly reasonable clarity now, considering the torturous path for the sound.

 

Using an Aldi Blu-ray as the transport, HDMI - immediately, the TV broadcast EQ slider settings were not good for this, need to cut the treble - okay, not too bad - let it cook for a bit with The Doors, LA Woman ...

 

More volume than the previous telly, not much bass, but is doing nicely with tracks like,

 

 

No trouble running at maximum level, set has better sorting of the audio chain, no rattles and obvious physical problems - as to be expected, treble dirt is the main worry. So I try a couple of things to reduce video processing, but just like the previous set it doesn't like having an OSD of track time - which I have to kill for each succeeding track; makes an obvious difference when you switch it off.

 

Next tweak, separate the power feeds to the player and TV to some degree, by running them off different extension cords - again a clear gain of treble clarity.

 

What have I got with this couple of tweaks? Pretty good sound from outside the room, sounds nicely immersive from a distance. Directly in front, still ready to sound a bit rough. Piano tone can be quite reasonable, but goes off too easily - pretty good retrieval of acoustic, is promising there ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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Just got a call a call from N., the audio co-conspirator in the next township ... will be having a session this afternoon, and it looks to be largely in the vinyl arena - last time, LPs already were "in the zone", so hopefully it will be "better still".

 

In the sessions over the years, it has been demonstrated many times on his rigs that when either vinyl, or digital hits a peak of SQ, that the nature of the medium disappears from your awareness, and all you hear is the captured performance ... as it should be. There is no intrinsic "softness" to vinyl, no intrinsic "harshness" to digital - these are just the typical distortion characteristics of sub-par setups ... and these anomalies disappear when sufficient sorting has been performed.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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Quite happy with with what the Aldi TV set is producing in SQ, that is, using internal sound system and speakers, with source from a Blue-ray machine, used as transport. Bit more tweaking of settings, to try and reduce internal chatter of the TV, from driving the display and processing any changing video content being fed to it. Last go was that pipe organ CD I mentioned, that bums out on audiophile rigs, 😝. Not bad, did Widor's famous Toccata rather well, full, rich sound, no obvious problems - most obvious lacking was, yes, big bass frequencies weren't there, 😉 - but it didn't really matter ...

 

Bev thought, not too bad - but she wants it "bigger"; more volume, heft, all the usual stuff 🙂. All gains were on maximum, nicely fills the house ... I'm pretty sure I'll have a go at recording what it sounds like - and post it.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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A good listening session, down the road - vinyl came out trumps ... again!! Looks like N. has got this side of playback under good control - highlight was

 

image.png.6679aefb48fe52f20f2e837d3f0876b9.png

 

This was mighty close to as good as it gets, I reckon - silky string tone, huge thunder from tympany, dense, immersive sound, climaxes clean as a whistle - who wants to go to a concert hall when you can get it at home, 😉

 

CD was not quite there - changes had been done, so it should have been better - plenty of oomph in the sound, but the last degree of "bloom" was missing - a decent 2nd.

 

Last in the roundup was the media player - he had done work to give the valve buffer, necessary to not load the output of the player, shielding but the quality was a bit up and down - the dreaded lurgy of digital "grayness" was in evidence, and seemed to vary. Plus, the gains weren't optimum - the Naim amp had to be set to max volume a lot of time, to get decent levels.

 

Luckily, last thing, some inspiration hit - could there be some static problem? Yes, there was ... some experiments with earthing, and using anti-static material clearly showed there was something going on - something for him to fine tune before the next round, 🙂


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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On 1/15/2020 at 2:36 PM, fas42 said:

There is a 'setting' of SQ where the mind no longer takes notice of FR variations - of course it actually does, but subjectively you "still hear the same thing" - go back, again, to listening to live music - if there is a dip in the FR somewhere because of room effects, your brain doesn't tell you, "Uh oh, I'll have to shift my position - it doesn't sound right" ... and the same brain processing switches on if the replay quality reaches a certain standard.

 

Hmmm. You're describing a perceptual phenomenon here. How do you know this happens to everyone? Remember, I was responding to your claim that you can find a situation where even gross treble/bass tone changes make no audible/perceptual difference!

 

Sorry, I've never experienced such phenomenon, nor to be honest would I really want to be so insensitive to sound changes! This doesn't mean I can't enjoy the music mind you, so long as the frequency anomaly isn't extreme.

 

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Yes, indeed it is. This attitude developed over many years - even when I was achieving a very high standard, I still had recordings that were "no good" - only to get a shock when enough of the integrity of the setup further snapped into shape, because of some new refinement; and the recording came good.

 

So, the motto has been precisely that, for some years now ... "There no such thing as a bad recording". Note, it is not a "setting", for the playback chain - it's developing the awareness of when the system is adding distortion to the playback, and then doing what's needed to eliminate or reduce that unwanted artifact to the point of being inaudible.

 

Sure. But if you're not able to define the "distortion" you're talking about, then how do you eliminate it? Again, if you use the "doctor" analogy, you have not demonstrated the "pathological etiology" of the disorder you're talking about. How do you know which treatment to prescribe?

 

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Have you read through, on the blog, A More Ambitious Upgrade - Part 1, onwards?

 

Not every word, but even that 1st "Part 1" post is lacking in background and I have no concrete context as to accept what you're claiming. How can a person continue to read the other parts without understanding what you're saying?

 

Like I say, you should really just summarize everything in a few posts. Start from first principles. From there, build your case. And pictures do help keep readers interested plus allows the reader to better contextualize! For example, what does this cheap system with NAD CDP and amp look like? Show me this Sharp "boombox speaker" since you didn't even publish a product model in that post!

 

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The point is that the effects should not be exaggerated by characteristics of the playback - the car door slamming sequence showcased that the particular rig was overcooking that area.

 

How do you know it was exaggerated? What if this was how the soundtrack was produced and the equipment accurately replicated the intent?

 

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This is where the "missing fundamental" behaviour comes in ... there is an obsessive audio enthusiast further up the road than the friend, who has massively heavy, sealed subwoofers - we ran a frequency sweep and could clearly hear extension to the bottom of the range, and, it was extremely clean. The whole ensemble was running through a DEQX, which had been repeatedly calibrated, and it was set up as an active system, amplifier per driver. So I pulled out my test, pipe organ CD - this should be good, eh ... 😉 ... Ummm, no. It wimped out, the majesty and glory of that sound, live, went missing - the notes may have been there, but it didn't work - hit Stop pretty quickly, with that one.

 

Sure. Maybe. How do I know? Unless you tell me what pipe organ CD you used, what track sounded bad, which sub(s) this guy has, what kind of system he's using, perhaps even what the room looks like... This is "hearsay" testimony. You do realize that the value of a comment like this is limited, right?

 

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Again, you are using extreme examples ...

 

And why shouldn't I? You said rooms don't make a difference. Also, you said that it's possible to optimize a system so that tone controls no longer had an effect! I find those statements extreme and invitations to counter with obvious examples...

 

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The biggest problem is that unless you are live in a room with a system, that can produce this subjective presentation, and can demonstrate how the illusion collapses if you "pull a small stone out from under one of the supporting pillars" - then these are all just words. There are members on this forum who understand how precarious it is achieving the necessary SQ - I've been at it a lot longer, and have learned a lot of 'tricks' on the way.

 

Okay. As I've said above. Please clearly highlight these "pillars" which I interpreted abstractly as elements of your "first principles" in your writings so everyone is clear as to what you're saying and doing...

 

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The best "doctor" is the one who can understand, almost immediately, what is wrong with you as you start talking - this only occurs when he's been "on the job" for a long time; an intuition develops, and he cuts through many testing procedures, "because he's been there before".

 

Sorry, disagree. The idea of a doctor being able to diagnose based on first impressions and only on intuition (without digging deeper) can only go so far and with only certain conditions. Trust me on this one...


Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

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2 hours ago, Archimago said:

 

Hmmm. You're describing a perceptual phenomenon here. How do you know this happens to everyone? Remember, I was responding to your claim that you can find a situation where even gross treble/bass tone changes make no audible/perceptual difference!

 

I can't be sure at all; in fact, I'm certain that there would a percentage where this 'trick' would fail; it's an interesting side-effect that I have observed for myself, and I suspect for many others. I have certainly experienced the counter to the claim that FR is so important - in situations where a DEQX has been used by a skillful operator to "perfect" the response to within some minute percentage of dead flat - ummm. the rig didn't right in the before, and didn't sound right in the after - the after was merely a variation of the before, and no more "interesting".

 

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Sorry, I've never experienced such phenomenon, nor to be honest would I really want to be so insensitive to sound changes! This doesn't mean I can't enjoy the music mind you, so long as the frequency anomaly isn't extreme.

 

Again, this in a region where what you are listening to has the 'energy' of live music - personally, FR anomalies is the last thing that crosses my mind when I listen to live music; OTOH I'm sure that there also people who are very sensitive to this - this would not be a good thing to have, IMO 😉.

 

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Sure. But if you're not able to define the "distortion" you're talking about, then how do you eliminate it? Again, if you use the "doctor" analogy, you have not demonstrated the "pathological etiology" of the disorder you're talking about. How do you know which treatment to prescribe?

 

This forum is filled with posts from people who have zero problems with hearing every rig sounding different from the next. They can't all be right, if they all sound different - the ones that sound most different from what the most accurate playback sounds like, are the most distorted, by definition 😁.

 

The "distortion" is that which is often called the signature sound of the rig - that's what has to be eliminated. How do you know what causes it? In my case, mostly experience ... I have done this sort of thing so long that I developed quite an instinct for it - I listen for a minute, and say, there's a bad connection somewhere. I have been wrong many times, but if the first "diagnosis" doesn't pan out, then you move onto the next most likely.

 

There are a myriad of reasons for why a system is not up to scratch - poor mains supply, poor filtering and shielding of parts of the system from the environment, inadequate power supplies, inadequate decoupling in key areas of the circuit, poor earthing practices, vibration sensitivity, too much contact noise, sensitivity to static build up ...list long enough yet? 😜

 

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Not every word, but even that 1st "Part 1" post is lacking in background and I have no concrete context as to accept what you're claiming. How can a person continue to read the other parts without understanding what you're saying?

 

Like I say, you should really just summarize everything in a few posts. Start from first principles. From there, build your case. And pictures do help keep readers interested plus allows the reader to better contextualize! For example, what does this cheap system with NAD CDP and amp look like? Show me this Sharp "boombox speaker" since you didn't even publish a product model in that post!

 

 

Every time I post pictures, they laugh ... there you go, spent 2 secs with Google Images, after  typing in "sharp mini hifi" and got,

 

image.png.8bfb0775c013326edbad44f52fa064ce.png

 

Forget about the woofer box, the rest of it is as close to what I bought as to make no difference. Rip off the silly bit of plastic on the front of the cabinets, and you have as boring a two way speaker box as has been seen in audio shops, since forever. What made me go with them is that the drivers have the cojones to handle 200W of power, stamped on them by the makers of the drivers - spec'ed to handle being savagely abused by people partying, I would suggest.

 

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How do you know it was exaggerated? What if this was how the soundtrack was produced and the equipment accurately replicated the intent?

 

This was at an audio show, in a high end home theatre demo - a projector worth about $100,000 on a huge screen, audiophile grade speakers, volume that pulverized you with ease - everything was BIG - BIG action flick, BIG colours, BIG sound, BIG faces on the screen - helicopter goes overhead, you duck 🙂 - consuming caseloads of beer type of situation ...

 

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Sure. Maybe. How do I know? Unless you tell me what pipe organ CD you used, what track sounded bad, which sub(s) this guy has, what kind of system he's using, perhaps even what the room looks like... This is "hearsay" testimony. You do realize that the value of a comment like this is limited, right?

 

This is the sort of response I always get - you know when you look at the latest attempts at making an artificial head, talking, come across as human, and there are so many giveaways that it ain't? You're asking me, what words were spoken, what was the lighting like ... and I'm thinking, WTF ...

 

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And why shouldn't I? You said rooms don't make a difference. Also, you said that it's possible to optimize a system so that tone controls no longer had an effect! I find those statements extreme and invitations to counter with obvious examples...

 

 

Again, if you couldn't stand someone, say, picking up an acoustic guitar and playing it with great skill in a particular room, then don't run your rig in it. That's as fussy as I find you need to be ...

 

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Okay. As I've said above. Please clearly highlight these "pillars" which I interpreted abstractly as elements of your "first principles" in your writings so everyone is clear as to what you're saying and doing...

 

The essential pillar is the whole playback chain has to have sufficient integrity, and robustness, such that it presents as if live music, and not merely a hifi system. Yesterday I visited the audio friend down the road, and his vinyl was "in the zone" - it got a tick. Digital was reasonable, but couldn't pull it off - enough clues, slight misdemeanours that made you never forget that you were listening to equipment.

 

Now, with the vinyl, all he would have to do is, say, slightly mess up with the operation of the phono pre-amp, and the "magic" would have disappeared - as it has often been like when he played LPs, at other times.

 

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Sorry, disagree. The idea of a doctor being able to diagnose based on first impressions and only on intuition (without digging deeper) can only go so far and with only certain conditions. Trust me on this one...

 

"Only so far", yes ... but in the real world, for 90% of the time, how does a skilled general practitioner operate?


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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59 minutes ago, Archimago said:

 

For a good GP, he / she takes a history and listens first?

 

Can't think of a situation when there's actually a significant problem and one can "understand, almost immediately, what is wrong with you as you start talking". Unless of course the person has clear physical signs like typical lesions of chicken pox, a black eye or obvious fracture - probably a good number of those should be going to the ER!

 

Okay, enough with the doctor analogies, then ...😉.

 

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As for the Sharp mini hi-fi box, as you can imagine, I would not have had any specific idea what the speakers you're referring to looked like until you showed me that picture. In fact, it appears that's not even a picture of your actual set-up but some girls room? (BTW, you don't honestly believe "200W" printed on the front is meaningful and even refers to actual power handling to make you "go with them", do you?!)

 

All speakers of boomboxs look the same, under any bit of fancy plastic - a carcass of folded up chipboard, with two speakers mounted on the front panel - exactly the same as my small B&W speakers of 30 years ago, exactly they used thicker chipboard, and were good enough to throw in some foam acoustic material. I'm not particularly interested in speakers, because they're only a very small part of the story of getting good SQ ... my friend yesterday expressed it very well - cheaper speakers need more conditioning, from cold, of their suspensions to sound decent; if time matters, get better speakers.

 

I said, "stamped on them by the makers of the drivers" - you know, the place where it says 4R, 8R, on the magnet assembly - makes sense why, the chip amplifiers can do 100W, need some margin to stop the drivers frying, and taken back under warranty - the construction of the drivers is as good as the old B&Ws, very meaty magnet on the bass/midrange. nice suspension surround.

 

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Typing into Google "sharp mini hifi" yielded pages of images and while it might have been a 2 second job for you, look at it through the lens of others. In fact, perhaps this is the key point about what you're saying and why I suspect many don't get it... You need to be considerate of the perspective of what others might be thinking. Can they truly follow where you're coming from and share the same basic beliefs from which you're approaching this?

 

Again, I've repeated over and over and over that the speakers aren't so important - if I post photos of what's unimportant do you think they will understand better what I'm saying?

 

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As you can imagine... I don't follow and find many of your beliefs, both simple and complex are being expressed without adequate logical connection. I think that's all I can say.

 

 

The logic is remarkably simple: to goal is for a system to deliver the sense of hearing live sound; some people believe you have to spray lots of money in all directions, and have something that looks spectacular to achieve this - I've found that this has nothing to with it; what counts is locating the flaws in the system, not matter how expensive the individual components are, and eliminating them - unless you do this, your money is largely wasted, if your goal is as above. Get the "sorting out" right, and you will be rewarded with very special sound - that which is on the recording, rather than the playback rig's interpretation of it.

 

The audio friend I just visited has an audiophile acquaintance who has done it the flash way - a monster Gryphon integrated amp, Audio Research DAC, the "best" music server, Magico speakers is the latest round - ummm, he reckons the friend had the best sound many years ago, when the kit cost perhaps a 1/10 of the current configuration.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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2 hours ago, Archimago said:

There are some things I can agree with:

 

Good to hear ... 😉.

 

Quote

 

Sure. It'll be nice to have "live sound" - but only if the recording is supposed to sound that way.

 

Agree. No need to spend lots of money.

 

The recording will end up sounding that way, unless the producer goes to a huge amount of effort to "wreck" the sound - what one ends up with, is hearing all the elements in the mix precisely as they were dealt with, to form the whole. I have in mind here a recording with Metallica and Lou Reed, where the former are thrashing away in the background, distortion guitar going full bore - and in the foreground Lou is sitting comfortably just behind the speakers, singing softly and intimately, to just me. Now, this has nothing to do with what it would sound like, live - but it's what's on the recording.

 

Quote

 

Sure, it's only as good as the limiting factor in the audio chain. And if there are distortions preventing the optimal sound, should deal with it.

 

 

Sure. getting the most expensive stuff doesn't mean it sounds the best. Many things like DACs and music servers are IMO not limiting the sound.

 

Good so far ... 🙂

 

Quote

But it's this comment that still gets me with your beliefs:

 

Plus this quote from the comment above:

 

Naw man. This devaluation of speakers simply does not jive in my corner of the universe. In fact, this is such an important foundation to the overall belief system that unless this is resolved, there's no way to even begin to understand anything else! Want to try being more specific about this?

 

How this started is because my first "good" rig used an expensive CDP, expensive amplifier, and cheap speakers - being a logical kind o' guy, I think!!, this said to me, "Ain't so important to use really, really good speakers!" ... it all built from there.

 

What do you lose with down market speakers? Worst from the SQ perspective is that the suspensions of the drivers.and the crossovers, are not as refined as expensive ones - this means they have to be driven hard from cold, to "warm them up" - for many people this would be a decisive reason not to go there, and that's fine. But I'm interested in what can be achieved, if one takes into account these sorts of issues.

 

Also what is a hindrance is that the cabinets are not "meaty" - thick, non-resonant, weigh half a ton, all help; anyone for some Wilsons? 😝 But If one takes some care you can effectively give the "flimsy" cabinet that comes with the drivers of a cheap speaker most of the characteristics that count for good sound. Without paying the manufacturers for all that meat ... this is what I did with my "beginner" setup.

 

What you may not believe is that low cost speakers can deliver intense, powerhouse sound - bowl you over with completely clean sound energy, immerse you in the music event - but I have consistently heard this happen ... what normally lets down the side is using an amplifier that is comparably in cost to that of the speakers - which won't work. The amp wimps out, and everyone blames the speakers - most people have it back to front ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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12 hours ago, fas42 said:

...

How this started is because my first "good" rig used an expensive CDP, expensive amplifier, and cheap speakers - being a logical kind o' guy, I think!!, this said to me, "Ain't so important to use really, really good speakers!" ... it all built from there.

 

What do you lose with down market speakers? Worst from the SQ perspective is that the suspensions of the drivers.and the crossovers, are not as refined as expensive ones - this means they have to be driven hard from cold, to "warm them up" - for many people this would be a decisive reason not to go there, and that's fine. But I'm interested in what can be achieved, if one takes into account these sorts of issues.

 

Also what is a hindrance is that the cabinets are not "meaty" - thick, non-resonant, weigh half a ton, all help; anyone for some Wilsons? 😝 But If one takes some care you can effectively give the "flimsy" cabinet that comes with the drivers of a cheap speaker most of the characteristics that count for good sound. Without paying the manufacturers for all that meat ... this is what I did with my "beginner" setup.

 

What you may not believe is that low cost speakers can deliver intense, powerhouse sound - bowl you over with completely clean sound energy, immerse you in the music event - but I have consistently heard this happen ... what normally lets down the side is using an amplifier that is comparably in cost to that of the speakers - which won't work. The amp wimps out, and everyone blames the speakers - most people have it back to front ...

 

Okay. Like many areas of sound reproduction, let's say that the drivers themselves have reached a level of quality where distortion is low enough and generally the frequency reproduction and dispersion patterns are good enough that one can find adequate positioning to minimize issues.

 

True, improving cabinets is important. Perhaps you can write a blog post summarizing what you can do with the cabinets, materials, and procedure to reinforce the cabinet? As usual, pictures I think would help and very much enhance the article for something like this!

 


Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

It's all in posts made over the years - I'll hunt them dowm, and quote them in a post here, for now ... give me some moments ...

 

Sounds good... But here's a perfect example - since you're taking the time to gather thoughts and pieces, why not just create a blog post with the text, maybe links, again, maybe pictures of what you're doing and what the materials and procedure looks like?

 

Since this thread is called "step-by-step surgery", remember that surgical textbooks are very visual and need to incorporate illustrations of anatomical landmarks as well as visual aids for teaching procedures... (Exhibit A)


Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

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Thing is, I want to trigger the brain cells, not the retina cones - if I "post pictures", at least one or two will slavishly copy exactly what's shown, having missed the intent of what's going on, and get it wrong in some area. Then they will indignantly post, "Frank's all BS! I did exactly what's in the pictures, and it made things worse ,,, he hasn't a clue!!" ... I can see it coming, from miles away ... 😜.

 

An ounce of brain processing is worth more than a lb of thick textbook, full of pretty pictures, 😉.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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6 minutes ago, fas42 said:

Thing is, I want to trigger the brain cells, not the retina cones - if I "post pictures", at least one or two will slavishly copy exactly what's shown, having missed the intent of what's going on, and get it wrong in some area. Then they will indignantly post, "Frank's all BS! I did exactly what's in the pictures, and it made things worse ,,, he hasn't a clue!!" ... I can see it coming, from miles away ... 😜.

 

An ounce of brain processing is worth more than a lb of thick textbook, full of pretty pictures, 😉.

 

Come on Frank, have a little faith 🤔.

 

Surely you must consider the readers here are much more sophisticated than this! I bet you many will spend time thinking and considering if it makes sense for them. As in all things, some people may find benefit and others may not. At least it'll encourage experimentation. In the same way, I put my ideas out there on my blog recognizing that I'll catch flack at times. But if thoughts are worth sharing, then come what may... It's not like you (or I) are asking people to pay for something "guaranteed" to work. Rather, let's just talk, think, and show in a free marketplace of ideas.

 


Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

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6 hours ago, Archimago said:

 

 let's say that the drivers themselves have reached a level of quality where distortion is low enough and generally the frequency reproduction and dispersion patterns are good enough that ...

 

 

 

I had no idea Frank was using these

 

 

Plasmatronics Helium tweeter.jpg

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To warm up the audience a bit, first "dump", from

 

.

This was easily found, using "B&W"  as the search term, and me as author, in the forum's search.

 

Note opus101 responding - he's onto what one needs to do - there is a discussion elsewhere where we share thoughts, etc.

 


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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And a second dose,

 

 

Found, the same way as previous, this time using "concrete" as search word - plenty of good posts in the results page, describing aspects of what I did, my thinking, etc.


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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49 minutes ago, Ralf11 said:

 

 

I had no idea Frank was using these

 

 

Plasmatronics Helium tweeter.jpg

 

Plasma loudspeakers get around one major problem area when using dynamic drivers - the suspension system is too crude in the latter; solutions are to thoroughly warm them up before assessing, or to use some planar technology devices instead ... hopefully the plasma stuff won't kill you ... dying to hear good SQ doesn't turn me on ...


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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Still foolin' with the Aldi telly, being used as a set of digital speakers - Kii, watch out, 😝. Still squeezing a bit more SQ out of it - currently playing

 

473d8922af52a9cd5e05703ab0726ba3.486x486

 

Doing very nicely with the treble - good sense of the acoustics in the tracks, separation of voice and instruments working well ...

 

Played some Brendel on piano, just before, at max volume - do have issues with plastic vibrating, somewhere, with big piano notes; need to locate them and damp.

 

What's been done? Key was to switch off the EQ settings, by setting them all at 50 - major gain from this; must be using the DAC chip for doing this, so was degrading quite substantially. Next, improving the mains supply noise by inserting a hugely long extension cord, to attenuate muck before it gets to the set - Bev got a shock from how much this cleared up the sound, 😉. Also worked out another refinement to try and stop the TV's video circuitry from being tickled while playing - still hoping to somehow completely kill this, not sure how, as yet.

 

Still quite a bit more to experiment with - aiming to minimise to as low a level as possible any impact of voltage, and current fluctuations on the power in.

 


Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Ahhh, Mankind ... Porsche intellect, Trabant emotions ...

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