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Audio reproduction is a matter of taste?


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2 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

At some point people have to attempt to understand each other rather than find flaws like it’s a debate contest. 

 

I'm often seen arguing against artificially polarised povs. Undiscovered common ground is often where "truth" lurks latent.

I agree.

My digital system is wired ethernet (RedNet/Dante) but strictly offline. I don't download or stream music from the internet.

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P.S. When I say "subjective reports" I don't mean to say that these are necessarily contra-objective or can't be quantified. cf. psychometric testing. You could ask 100 people whether Speakers A image better than Speakers B. Those would constitute empirical data (for what they're worth - but that is a matter of argument.)

My digital system is wired ethernet (RedNet/Dante) but strictly offline. I don't download or stream music from the internet.

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1 hour ago, Iving said:

 

We do well to realise that insulting an argument is no argument at all.

 

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

 

Besides which - condoning this kind of alpha behaviour will hardly promote the culture of the site.

We also do well to realize that I  answered his argument more  than once.

Calling my posts alpha behavior is hyperbole, and  "will hardly promote the culture of the site".

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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6 minutes ago, firedog said:

We also do well to realize that I  answered his argument more  than once.

 

OK

 

6 minutes ago, firedog said:

Calling my posts alpha behavior is hyperbole, and  "will hardly promote the culture of the site".

 

I didn't. I was responding to Chris. If you review, I wasn't addressing you or what you said directly. I was arguing against Chris's "insult argument = good".

 

If you infer that I meant you - well - maybe - a bit - but it wasn't my conversation - and I'm not party to it. So no.

 

If you review the whole thread, you will see that I was the "victim" of a completely - I say completely - unjustified "Nonsense!" interjection from audiobomber who must have suffered an accidental discharge. That's me as a stakeholder in this matter.

 

I think my pov about culture of the site is fair comment. It's a pov. I gave an argument. Nobody has to agree with it. I didn't insult anyone.

My digital system is wired ethernet (RedNet/Dante) but strictly offline. I don't download or stream music from the internet.

System here

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8 hours ago, John Dyson said:

Again, no matter where the problem is -- it is about removing the distractions.   If there are distractions in the recordings, then remove those.   Most people accept the garbage in most commercial recordings.   This is like speakers...   Almost no speakers/environment are really super good from a technical standpoint, but there are some speakers  in a controlled environment that are technically really good.   It is all about avoiding the distractions, and trying to solve them, if possible.   If you have good speakers, but they appear boomy -- there are a few possible solutions, one or two of them might help.   Looking at the problems one by one will allow enjoying the system as it grows (if needed.)

 

Yes, it's about removing the distractions ...

 

8 hours ago, John Dyson said:

 

Trying to fix *everything* will drive you nuts.   Trying to fix the problems as they come  is the only way to enjoy music without being confused with trying to be an engineer.   Frankly, most of the silly or extreme HW stuff being sold today is specious considering the (really poor) quality of most source material.

 

 

Driving one nuts I certainly agree with!! 😵 ... . But, we of course differ on the matter of source material being poor - the magic emerges, every time, when all the critical stuff, in the playback chain, is sorted - and you always know when you haven't done enough, because ... you don't get the magic, 😉.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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4 hours ago, Iving said:

You could ask 100 people whether Speakers A image better than Speakers B.

...my impression is this is a genuine, good-faith effort to get things onto a more productive path, so I'll chip in and plant a seed:

 

A couple of months ago, I replaced a pair of Revel Studio2s with Magico A5s. 
 

It has been said and written that the Revels are "good" speakers, image well, etc. That was my experience over the 1.5 years I had them in my room. OK by me if you disagree with that statement, but this is what I offer.
 

My room has many acoustic treatments, commercial and DIY from plans. Pressure and velocity based pieces.

 

When the A5s arrived...then we hear what imaging is. Holy Mackerel. 


Greg Porter: God Bless the Child. A Cappella. Voice is dead-center, round and full. 
 

Roger Waters: Amused to Death. The sound effects, dog barking and narration is all over the room. My puppy goes mental, looking at the sofa. Me too.

 

These are only two of many examples. So, for those in the know:

 

How would we test/measure this to objectively confirm (or dispel) Speaker A images better than Speaker B?
 

You can hear the illusion plain-as-day. Would a mic pick it up? Could it be mapped to cross-over engineering, box design, etc.? 
 

I "know" with "metaphysical certitude," as John McLoughlin used to say, that the Magicos image waaay better than the Revels.
 

How can I prove it to you without having you to my place? Not that you're not all welcome, BTW...

 

 

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48 minutes ago, MarkusBarkus said:

...my impression is this is a genuine, good-faith effort to get things onto a more productive path, so I'll chip in and plant a seed:

 

A couple of months ago, I replaced a pair of Revel Studio2s with Magico A5s. 
 

It has been said and written that the Revels are "good" speakers, image well, etc. That was my experience over the 1.5 years I had them in my room. OK by me if you disagree with that statement, but this is what I offer.
 

My room has many acoustic treatments, commercial and DIY from plans. Pressure and velocity based pieces.

 

When the A5s arrived...then we hear what imaging is. Holy Mackerel. 


Greg Porter: God Bless the Child. A Cappella. Voice is dead-center, round and full. 
 

Roger Waters: Amused to Death. The sound effects, dog barking and narration is all over the room. My puppy goes mental, looking at the sofa. Me too.

 

These are only two of many examples. So, for those in the know:

 

How would we test/measure this to objectively confirm (or dispel) Speaker A images better than Speaker B?
 

You can hear the illusion plain-as-day. Would a mic pick it up? Could it be mapped to cross-over engineering, box design, etc.? 
 

I "know" with "metaphysical certitude," as John McLoughlin used to say, that the Magicos image waaay better than the Revels.
 

How can I prove it to you without having you to my place? Not that you're not all welcome, BTW...

 

 

Yes i used to demonstrate good imaging to non audiophiles and even they could see palpable images of musicians playing in an almost 3d soundscape on a good recording. It is not subjective and not many speakers/systems are capable of delivering it. 

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5 hours ago, Iving said:

If you review the whole thread, you will see that I was the "victim" of a completely - I say completely - unjustified "Nonsense!" interjection from audiobomber who must have suffered an accidental discharge. That's me as a stakeholder in this matter.

As I read it, you were supporting Hopkins' argument, e.g. "I admit Chris's references to "real" in reviews don't stand well against his challenges on p.1 - the way I read all the respective meanings anyway."

 

If that was not your intent, I guess I got lost in the verbosity of your posts. 

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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9 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

As I read it, you were supporting Hopkins' argument, e.g. "I admit Chris's references to "real" in reviews don't stand well against his challenges on p.1 - the way I read all the respective meanings anyway."

 

?

No.

 

Please read the early thread. I was supporting hopkins in the matter whether we know what instruments sound like. Not much otherwise. In fact challenging more than agreeing.

 

In the post to which you reacted - I was supporting Chris in the use of the word "real". And I supported its use generically earlier too. Very transparently. That's why your post was 180 illogical (and of course mildly offensive).

 

33 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

If that was not your intent, I guess I got lost in the verbosity of your posts. 

 

My language may be too sophisticated for you - but it is for the very largest part correct. I am anxious to be clear about things, and I am. If you choose to react badly to a post written for someone else - without bothering to garner the thread's context - that's your responsibility.

 

You haven't bothered to review before writing this either.

 

Thank you for the additional insult. At least I know where we stand.

My digital system is wired ethernet (RedNet/Dante) but strictly offline. I don't download or stream music from the internet.

System here

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10 minutes ago, Iving said:

 

?

No.

 

Please read the early thread. I was supporting hopkins in the matter whether we know what instruments sound like. Not much otherwise. In fact challenging more than agreeing.

 

In the post to which you reacted - I was supporting Chris in the use of the word "real". And I supported its use generically earlier too. Very transparently. That's why your post was 180 illogical (and of course mildly offensive).

 

 

My language may be too sophisticated for you - but it is for the very largest part correct. I am anxious to be clear about things, and I am. If you choose to react badly to a post written for someone else - without bothering to garner the thread's context - that's your responsibility.

 

You haven't bothered to review before writing this either.

 

Thank you for the additional insult. At least I know where we stand.

I am a native English speaker with five years of college. I did review the posts. Your language is definitely not too sophisticated, just too nebulous. Try fewer words and greater clarity.

 

I'm sure we'll be censured shortly by the moderator, so I'll stop now. 

“To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity for reflection.” 
Bertrand Russell 

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4 minutes ago, audiobomber said:

I am a native English speaker with five years of college. I did review the posts. Your language is definitely not too sophisticated, just too nebulous. Try fewer words and greater clarity.

 

I'm sure we'll be censured shortly by the moderator, so I'll stop now. 

 

I promise you ... I do not need unsolicited advice from you about anything.

My digital system is wired ethernet (RedNet/Dante) but strictly offline. I don't download or stream music from the internet.

System here

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8 hours ago, Rexp said:

Yes i used to demonstrate good imaging to non audiophiles and even they could see palpable images of musicians playing in an almost 3d soundscape on a good recording. It is not subjective and not many speakers/systems are capable of delivering it. 

 

Doesn't even have to be "good recordings" - Robert Johnson tracks are a pretty good example of that; when a system is up to it, you can see the man in front of you, you're in the room with him, sensing how he's interacting with the guitar, and whoever is listening - the 'humanness' of the performance stands out ... this comes through, in spite of the very poor quality of many of the 78's used for the transfers.

 

This is where true accuracy of the replay chain is paramount - every extra tiny bit of detail is so vital, because it gives the listening brain just enough to work with, to be able to extract what counts, the performance, from all the noise and media distortion ... the slightest doctoring, or dirtying of that precious detail will kill the illusion - and it reverts to just sounding like a crappy old recording ...

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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As I stated.  It is all taste driven. If you like it...it is good.  If you don't like it....it is not to your taste.  You can spend a lot of money, but taste wins every time.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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1 hour ago, NOMBEDES said:

As I stated.  It is all taste driven. If you like it...it is good.  If you don't like it....it is not to your taste.  You can spend a lot of money, but taste wins every time.

Strong augument you have there, 😂 

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19 hours ago, Rexp said:

Yes i used to demonstrate good imaging to non audiophiles and even they could see palpable images of musicians playing in an almost 3d soundscape on a good recording. It is not subjective and not many speakers/systems are capable of delivering it. 

One time, a long time ago, I had some IMO  really smooth (accurate?) speakers.   I had played some orchestral material for an orchestra director, and the result was *a very impressed director'.   I haven't had such good speaker oriented equipment for a very, very long time.  What were the speakers?  Koss CM1030? also CM1020 for other situations (Cannot remember exactly.)  They certainly didn't sound 'hyped up', but had a very, very smooth sound with more than adequate HF.   That was back when I had *really good* hearing, but now probably wouldn't think that there would be adequate HF (probably would need 6 add on super-tweeters given my current hearing. 🙂)

 

The sound that I previously liked would probably not meet the standards today, but certainly impressed a director who was very atuned to natural sounding orchestras.  Hyped up speakers intended to sparkle with rock would probably have screwed up the image.  (I have found, including in the past, that too much superHF will screw-up a stereo image faster than almost anything else.)

 

Bottom line:  I had attained something that I liked, but I'll suspect that NO-ONE else reading this would have accepted it.  OTOH, I could hear/was distracted by the temporal/dynamics distortion so very common in recordings.   Who cares if any other audiophile wouldn't have accepted my system? -- I really enjoyed it until the recordings started sounding like hash.

 

Trying to find 'perfection' seems to be futile and a waste of time for me.   I just want to enjoy the music without serious distractions.

 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, bluesman said:

Perfection is an elusive goal, and few efforts of any kind come close to achieving it.  Those who convince themselves that their systems are highly accurate with no knowledge at all of the performances to which they're listening or the procesess through which they were captured and turned into recordings are often deluding themselves.  It doesn't really matter, as long as the listener is happy with what he or she hears.  It enhances my listening enjoyment to be a bit more knowledgeable and realistic about the issue of accuracy - but, just like everyone else, I enjoy a lot of recorded music that's far removed from the original performance.  After all, we do this for fun.

 

With this type of thinking you may as well listen to music on your phone with ear buds. 

 

The problem is not a question of accuracy of the recording, over which we have no control, other than choosing what we listen to. I personally don't let the quality of the recording guide my choice of material, but will always pick the better mastering when I have the choice. 

 

The only parameter we have control over is the quality of our playback system (and sometimes the room we choose to listen in). 

 

My objective in looking for an accurate system is to find one that reproduces the file/cd/LP while introducing as little distortion as possible. I don't want to add to the distortion that has already been introduced by the recording process. 

 

Now why would I want this if I'm not able to recognize what brand of saxophone Stan Getz is playing when I listen to one of his albums? Well, if you think I'm an idiot I respect your opinions but then there is not much you can contribute to on this thread... Your lectures are interesting but off topic here. 

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50 minutes ago, bluesman said:

And that's the bottom line.  Truth be told, we have no idea what we're hearing by the time most recorded material hits our speakers unless the liner notes tell us.  For pure listening pleasure, most of us want to hear what we like to hear.  That may be specific instruments (e.g. a Fazioli, a Guarneri, or a DeAngelico New Yorker), genres played on "correct" instruments, etc.  It may be a specific sonic palette or a combination of other personal preferences.  But if it sounds good, it is good whether or not the reproduction is true to the recorded performance or the concept sought by the production staff.

 

Despite the early assertion in this thread that "...everyone knows what a guitar sounds like, kick drum etc", few have any idea how many different kinds of guitars, kick drums etc there are and how different they sound from each other.   Freddie Green played an 18" archtop acoustic guitar behind Count Basie.  Wes Montgomery played a 16" Gibson 175 archtop electric with a laminated maple top (aka plywood) for the first part of his career and a 17" Gibson L-5 with a carved solid spruce top for the rest of it.  And Ed Bickert played the same kind of music made by Green and Montgomery on a solid body Fender Telecaster, a guitar created and most often used for country music and blues.  These guitars are as different as night and day from each other - but most listeners probably have no idea which is which.  They probably don't care, and there's no reason they should unless they're concerned about "accuracy".  

 

Here's the current kick drum size chart for DW (one of the top professional drum makers):

 

image.png.f3734df4b045b2d3ef183b67d19df0b1.png

 

My son has a 16x18 kick in his set.  It sounds like a floor tom next to a 24" kick.  No one with serviceable hearing could fail to hear the difference when played in isolation side by side.  But that difference is a lot harder for the uninitiated to discern clearly among the other instruments when a band is playing.  So everyone knows what a conceptual kick drum sounds like, but few know what the kick drum in a particular performance sounds like.

 

Perfection is an elusive goal, and few efforts of any kind come close to achieving it.  Those who convince themselves that their systems are highly accurate with no knowledge at all of the performances to which they're listening or the procesess through which they were captured and turned into recordings are often deluding themselves.  It doesn't really matter, as long as the listener is happy with what he or she hears.  It enhances my listening enjoyment to be a bit more knowledgeable and realistic about the issue of accuracy - but, just like everyone else, I enjoy a lot of recorded music that's far removed from the original performance.  After all, we do this for fun.

+1000

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13 minutes ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

+1000

 

I think I have demonstrated at length that you and a number of other people here reviewing audio equipment do care about the "realism" of the reproduction they offer. Let's not go there again... 

 

The topic of this thread concerns whether the quality of audio reproduction can be assessed "objectively" and not whether there is a "purpose" to seeking higher quality audio reproduction. 

 

The fact that you, of all people, don't grasp this is a little mind boggling. 

 

So far, I feel the only relevant contribution has been made by Jud a few pages back. Perhaps his comments should be read over. 

 

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Just now, hopkins said:

 

I think I have demonstrated at length that you and a number of other people here reviewing audio equipment do care about the realism of the reproduction they offer. 

 

The topic of this thread concerns whether the quality of audio reproduction can be assessed "objectively" and not whether there is a "purpose" to seeking higher quality audio reproduction. 

 

The fact that you, of all people, don't grasp this is a little mind boggling. 

 

 

 

The logic courses I took in college taught nothing even remotely similar to the logic you use in this thread. I have no clue what you're saying, so I can't respond. 

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If people think they can judge accuracy of a playback system, then they should be clearly able to identify every instrument on the album, and I mean specific instrument not just guitar, but the model, the drum set and its make up (size of kick drum), the material on the walls of the studio (absorptive, reflective, etc...) the EQ used in mixing and mastering, and everything else involved. 

 

If you can't identify those aspects perfectly, then you can't judge accuracy because you need to know these in order to judge it. 

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