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Fas42’s Stereo ‘Magic’


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1 minute ago, Racerxnet said:

Your real life experiences do not dictate the performance of speakers others own. Whether you like them or not is irrelevant to them. The setup can vary widely from one system to another, and influences the replay. Your word is not the final say on any speaker system over your 400.00 Edifiers. 

 

Yes, the underlined states the situation - what you hear is determined by the overall integrity of the full reproduction chain; the speakers only play a small part in this, other very key areas are much more important.

 

I have no desire to have the final say on "any speaker system", 🙂.

 

1 minute ago, Racerxnet said:

 

You don,t own the thread, Blackmore does, and your own failed blog is testament that few people follow your illogical blather. Same canned reply over and over in this thread or others. 

 

As stated, with a 19 (Frank) to 4 (others) post response from you on this page alone, it appears you have some psychological problems. 

 

It's convenient, as noted in my previous post - what I work against, is the belief that one has to buy very expensive gear to get satisfying SQ; and that recordings naturally fall into two heaps: the "good" ones, and, the "bad" ones.

 

You appear to have some problem, yourself 🙂- that you feel you have a need to keep attacking the straw men that you erect ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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That video with Galen Gareis is a rich resource of good thinking,

 

 

Take the conversation starting around the 36 minute mark - discussing how much interconnect cables matter; which moves into what using 'right' cabling does for "good", vs, "bad" recordings ...

 

Comes straight from my hymnbook, I would say,  🤪.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 hours ago, fas42 said:

Rather nifty ... same recording situation, same artists - one setup sounds like a "high end" rig; the other is much closer to the actual content of the recording.

To my ears, the Klipsch sound "closer to the recording".  I am pretty sure we would disagree as to why though.  To me it is a fairly simple case of the total balance being not quite right with the Focal set up.  A little bright and sharp in the presence range.  I have heard the Scala Utopia's in a demo, and came to a similar conclusion.

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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35 minutes ago, Confused said:

To my ears, the Klipsch sound "closer to the recording".  I am pretty sure we would disagree as to why though.  To me it is a fairly simple case of the total balance being not quite right with the Focal set up.  A little bright and sharp in the presence range.  I have heard the Scala Utopia's in a demo, and came to a similar conclusion.

 

"Tonal balance"? IOW, if I took the audio of those clips, and applied some simple equalisation to them, I could make the Klipsch version sound like the Focals in their original clip; and vice versa ... yes?

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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25 minutes ago, fas42 said:

 

"Tonal balance"? IOW, if I took the audio of those clips, and applied some simple equalisation to them, I could make the Klipsch version sound like the Focals in their original clip; and vice versa ... yes?

Well I did say we would disagree! 🙂

 

If you did as you said and applied some EQ, you could certainly make the two clips sound more similar, not exactly the same though.  (Plus, they are different tracks, so they will never sound the same)

 

Anyway, I am just stating how I subjectively hear things, I have learnt before that you seem hear things differently to me. 

 

Now here is a thought, with maybe a touch of EQ the Focals would sound the better of the two?  I think they are a bit more resolved.

 

I'm guessing you are hearing "distortions", and you think EQ would be a sticking plaster to cover up the distortions?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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14 hours ago, Confused said:

Well I did say we would disagree! 🙂

 

Indeed ... 😉

 

Quote

If you did as you said and applied some EQ, you could certainly make the two clips sound more similar, not exactly the same though.  (Plus, they are different tracks, so they will never sound the same)

 

Anyway, I am just stating how I subjectively hear things, I have learnt before that you seem hear things differently to me. 

 

Audio enthusiasts definitely listen for attributes other than what I, and I think many 'normal' 😆 people tune into - this is why the room at the last audio show I went to which had the most realistic SQ on the day, had nobody in it apart from the demo guy ... no, they were packed in like sardines in the TAD room, which had high impact PA sound revved up - the sweaty night club venue vibe to it.

 

In spite of what audiophiles claim they want, I think many really want the "pull the muffler off, and let the neighborhood know that a real car is going for it!" experience, 🤣.

 

Quote

Now here is a thought, with maybe a touch of EQ the Focals would sound the better of the two?  I think they are a bit more resolved.

 

Lots of in your face "apparent" detail doesn't equal, resolution - real life music making doesn't present like many high end rigs do - the latter when you push the volume become impossible to listen to - which is not how live music works ...

 

Quote

I'm guessing you are hearing "distortions", and you think EQ would be a sticking plaster to cover up the distortions?

 

Indeed I am - if I put on some of my test CDs on the Focal setup in that clip, they would sound awful. Impossible to listen to. And all the usual suspects would proclaim, "See, I told you it was a bad recording !!" ... . Yeah, right - onya Fred ... 🙄

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Thanks for that, actually quite an insightful exchange over the last couple of posts. 

 

10 hours ago, fas42 said:

if I put on some of my test CDs on the Focal setup in that clip, they would sound awful. Impossible to listen to.

 

I suspect the same would be true for myself with some of the music I like listen to. 

 

Which leads me to a question.  Can you describe the distortions you hear with the Focal set up?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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13 hours ago, Confused said:

Thanks for that, actually quite an insightful exchange over the last couple of posts. 

 

 

I suspect the same would be true for myself with some of the music I like listen to. 

 

Which leads me to a question.  Can you describe the distortions you hear with the Focal set up?

 

Okay, they are fairly typical of many ambitious systems - and they are not directly a result of the speakers, and amplifier used. But what you can hear is a blurring, or muddling, of the low level detail in the recording - what some call micro detail, is not accurately enough rendered; and the ear/brain which relies on the clarity of this to resolve "what's going on" hasn't got enough information to properly separate the sound elements.

 

Listen on the Klispch example as the voice and each musical instrument are clearly defined as being separate, while contributing to the whole; for the Focal that separation is lost to quite some degree, all the sounds are on top of each other, and in particular with the voice the sense of it being a real person singing is quite curtailed - Knopfler blurs in with the rest of the sound; he's lost the distinctiveness of being the human element to some degree.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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14 hours ago, fas42 said:

- and they are not directly a result of the speakers, and amplifier used. But what you can hear is a blurring

Well, there are many things not to blame.  So what do you suspect are the prime candidates in this case?

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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9 hours ago, Confused said:

Well, there are many things not to blame.  So what do you suspect are the prime candidates in this case?

 

The factors that I keep referring to 🙂 ... a lack of integrity somewhere in the chain is enough to do the damage - and the problems will remain in the sound until they're properly addressed.

 

Most likely cause: the speakers are of normal efficiency, and hence require amplifiers of high power to deliver the current needed to drive them to decent volumes. High currents flowing anywhere in an audio rig create higher levels of interference noise, which means that the analogue areas of the DAC have a greater chance of being impacted.

 

Decades ago, amplifiers were terrible: they were incapable of delivering higher outputs without damaging the treble in the signal - this has greatly improved. The best example I have come across, currently, are the Bryston monoblocks - even at PA sound levels their treble SQ was superb.

 

In the Focal setup I don't think the McIntosh in itself is a problem - but the current it's drawing to operate is effectively generating noise in the system, via some path, and degrading the analogue signal output of the converter. Note, this is a first guess - and how I would first test this is to start isolating parts of the rig from each other, by changing how the components were plugged into the mains. If any changes in the quality occurred from doing this, then it confirms that internally generated noise was a key cause.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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That's one of your better ones I have to say.  Although you do realise that they need to be used with (dare I say it?) an EQ box?

 

Sounded pretty good I have to say, here's the "original" for reference:

 

 

Windows 10 PC, Roon, HQPlayer, SOtM sMS-200Ultra, tX-USBultra, Paul Hynes SR4 (x2), Mutec REF10, Mutec MC3+USB, Devialet 1000Pro, KEF Blade.  Plus Pro-Ject Signature 12 TT for playing my 'legacy' vinyl collection.

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14 hours ago, Confused said:

That's one of your better ones I have to say.  Although you do realise that they need to be used with (dare I say it?) an EQ box?

 

 

The thing is, I have zero issues with EQ being used in a system to shape the FR - there is absolutely nothing untoward about striving for a flat response ... the interesting bit is, of course, that if one monitors the FR at a certain spot in the room, very precisely, it's a complete mess! All this averaging, and third octave guff is needed to make it look half decent ... IOW, the ear/brain has been recognised as doing a whole lot of stuff anyway - with live, acoustic sound the clues are always there for the mind to correctly interpret what it's hearing, no matter how crazy the spectrum looks; competent replay merely replicates that aspect of human hearing.

 

Meaning, what I do argue about, is the belief that playing with EQ can create "magic sound" - I have never ever heard any ambitious setup achieve a meaningful improvement, by fiddling with the curve.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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2 hours ago, hopkins said:

Going further back :) with this classical tune

 

 

 

Have to say, I far prefer this take, over the "good" one, 👍

 

One of the huge gains of getting a system to perform "stereo magic", is that one can put on this latter recording, and play it at the levels as per the Bose clip - and the magic of the performance is fully realised; you are at one with the music making. Having the whole universe of recorded music available to one, to be enjoyed at this level, is something very special - and makes the efforts needed to get there very much worth it ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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On this tack, I noted in Archimago's blog that he found this track a bit hard,

 

 

He said, "This is an early '80s synthpop/disco production which can sound thin, glaring, and harsh." ... okay, what it should be like is something spectacularly good, a lovely bit of sound manipulation which works perfectly as a piece of theatre - if it doesn't, then it's highlighting a shortcoming in the playback chain, 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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This clip expresses what rigs shouldn't do - try to have a certain sound that the person creating it believes matches what the music is all about,

 

 

This is not what AC/DC on good playback is like - their tracks are well recorded, very tight, high impact, and have plenty of size ... what you have here is tiny, boxy sound; it fails on so many levels ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Worth repeating this old adage,

 

Quote

 

Dear Quote Investigator: There is an unlikely tale about the brilliant Renaissance artist Michelangelo. He was asked about the difficulties that he must have encountered in sculpting his masterpiece David. But he replied with an unassuming and comical description of his creative process:

It is easy. You just chip away the stone that doesn’t look like David.

 

 

Yep. In audio it's an analogous process - David is the, measurable, contents of the recording, "locked in stone" ... your job, as a 'tweaker', is to keep chipping away at the bits "that don't belong" - IOW, getting the best rendering of a recording is not a creative process; rather, it's an engineering exercise.

 

Which also means that there is no such thing as getting fancier and fancier system components, which will always make it "better and better" - the limit is, David; and always will be ...

 

Unless, of course, you do want, SUPER-David 😉 - a hyped up version of what actually is there ... this could be a fun exercise, but, has zero to do with "accuracy", and similar considerations ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Won't contaminate the

 

thread any more ... but why am I getting a strong smell of MQA'itus, the more I read what's there ... 😝.

 

Hmmm, "reworking" the source, so it sounds better, on the "right" gear - and money is flowing around, to facilitate the whole affair... naaaahhh - must be imagining it !! 🙂

 

Edit: What a beauty! On the website it states,

 

Quote

Transparency Setting: These two buttons helps you choose between two flavors of transparency.

 

My goodness!! ... Two levels of accuracy! ... That's what I should have written on my old exam papers - "If you don't think my answer is accurate, pass my test on to the other marker, who has a different standard of 'accuracy' " ... 😁.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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Frank, FWIW, the upsampling/interpolation is based on a standard Whittaker-Shannon interpolation filter.  Professor Shannon published that back when he invented information theory. Anyone in an advanced undergrad course on signal processing will learn about it.  

 

There are very advanced windowing and noise shaping functions. These are standard DSP techniques.  The magic is in the coefficients (which I do not know, haven't seen, and wouldn't know what to do with if I do see them).  People do research and publish results for different windowing and noise shaping functions all the time (this is a very active research area in signal processing).  People have proprietary algorithms all the time.  The how one defines "quality" and "accuracy" for these filters depends on what one is doing with the output signal (there is no single right answer).

 

For audio signal processing the  IP is in tuning the algrithms so things sound good.  Depending on how one balances between the time and frequency domain, it sounds different. Depending on your playback chain, folks have a preference for different tradeoffs between the time and frequency domain.  Making one more accurate makes the other less accurate. Not everything is absolute. Simplifying things so folks have simple knobs/buttons to experiment with to see what tradeoff sounds best for them is a good thing, not snake oil.

 

I upsample my music files to 16fs/32 bit.  Each music track is typically ~2GB.  This is the polar opposite of compression, and unlike MQA, I have all my original music files and can do whatever I want with them.  I appreciate the sensitivity, but I think we're a long way from MQA territory here (I don't see Tidal streaming music at 2GB/music track any time soon)

 

YMMV of course, but given your focus on time domain accuracy (which I share), I'd love to hear what you hear when you hear some content that has been processed through this pipeline.  

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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43 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

Frank, FWIW, the upsampling/interpolation is based on a standard Whittaker-Shannon interpolation filter.  Professor Shannon published that back when he invented information theory. Anyone in an advanced undergrad course on signal processing will learn about it.  

 

There are very advanced windowing and noise shaping functions. These are standard DSP techniques.  The magic is in the coefficients (which I do not know, haven't seen, and wouldn't know what to do with if I do see them).  People do research and publish results for different windowing and noise shaping functions all the time (this is a very active research area in signal processing).  People have proprietary algorithms all the time.  The how one defines "quality" and "accuracy" for these filters depends on what one is doing with the output signal (there is no single right answer).

 

43 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

For audio signal processing the  IP is in tuning the algrithms so things sound good.  Depending on how one balances between the time and frequency domain, it sounds different. Depending on your playback chain, folks have a preference for different tradeoffs between the time and frequency domain.  Making one more accurate makes the other less accurate. Not everything is absolute. Simplifying things so folks have simple knobs/buttons to experiment with to see what tradeoff sounds best for them is a good thing, not snake oil.

 

Fair enough. If it's a trade off with time, and storage used, to get the best from a particular playback chain, then I'm OK with that. One sample I played with some years ago did end up in the Gigabytes territory; which for the machine I was using was just silly consumption of space; and did nothing for the perceived SQ.

 

43 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

 

I upsample my music files to 16fs/32 bit.  Each music track is typically ~2GB.  This is the polar opposite of compression, and unlike MQA, I have all my original music files and can do whatever I want with them.  I appreciate the sensitivity, but I think we're a long way from MQA territory here (I don't see Tidal streaming music at 2GB/music track any time soon)

 

43 minutes ago, ray-dude said:

 

YMMV of course, but given your focus on time domain accuracy (which I share), I'd love to hear what you hear when you hear some content that has been processed through this pipeline.  

 

Yes, it will be fascinating to hear, and see(!), what it does to the waveforms ... hopefully we will have access soon to some samples, so that something like DeltaWave can be used to pick apart some clues as to what's being done ...

 

Thanks for commenting ... cheers! 👍

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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1 hour ago, fas42 said:

Yes, it will be fascinating to hear, and see(!), what it does to the waveforms ... hopefully we will have access soon to some samples, so that something like DeltaWave can be used to pick apart some clues as to what's being done ...

 

If you or others know of some high quality digital music files where the owner would be OK with this, please let me know.  I'd love to post some samples to get more ears on things, but I'm very sensitive to copyright issues.  

ATT Fiber -> EdgeRouter X SFP -> Sonore opticalModule -> Taiko Audio Extreme -> Chord DAVE -> Voxativ 9.87 speakers w/ 4D drivers

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