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A probably stupid question about orchestral strings.

1niltothe

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Over the last year I have been putting together and adjusting a listening room.

With the help of this forum and various acoustic interventions, I have been able to hear increasing detail in recorded music across many genres. To fumble for words, many recordings have to my ear an awesome 'transparent presence', whether techno or lieder or Joan Armatrading.

However, I still perceive orchestral strings - particularly large numbers playing the higher register - to sound somehow... a bit squashed or thin. It's hard to put into words, especially on Audio Science Review.

Is this something that is more to do with my end of things, or is it just part of life, how strings tend to sound when recorded?

If it's something at my end, are there things to investigate?

I mostly listen via Audirvana (Tidal HiFi). I have various diffusers, absorbers, a pair of Neumann KH310. I'm not currently doing any DRC.

As an example, into the opening movement of Abbado's famous Mahler 2, as the strings start to swell. For reference -
 

kongwee

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String, you have violin, viola, cello, contra bass, double bass, harp. In stereo setup when it is properly done, you can hear them well in what they are seated arrangement. Or just pop in your ear bug. Of course, you will not able to hear individual player, and even not able to do so in real setting till one off note and/or off beat.
 
OP
1niltothe

1niltothe

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Why not if I may ask?
I tried early on with Dirac and some others, but I suppose the room was still facing too many 'hard' issues, and I found the results just sounded artificial.

Perhaps I should try again now things are sorted out.

I was hoping to do some FIR work via Audiolense, but from what I can tell the MiniDSP Flex doesn't offer the number of taps required. I don't have the budget to get a Lynx Hilo or whatever. Perhaps I can find a way to do it on my Macbook and send something out to the Flex.
 

Rednaxela

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I see, thanks.

How is the room response now? Have you measured it post-treatment? Perhaps there’s some gain to be found in simple IIR corrections?
 

Robert C

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However, I still perceive orchestral strings - particularly large numbers playing the higher register - to sound somehow... a bit squashed or thin. It's hard to put into words, especially on Audio Science Review.
This can depend on the recording and mic'ing techniques used. For example, I find Deutsche Grammophon's string sound, particularly on their multi-mic'd 1980's recordings, to have a synthetic or processed sound to them. Just my opinion, but it's not something I get with Decca's orchestral recordings of the same era.
 

Digby

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I think it is likely the recording, doesn't sound quite right to me. Do you get this with all string recordings or just some?
 

tuga

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Over the last year I have been putting together and adjusting a listening room.

With the help of this forum and various acoustic interventions, I have been able to hear increasing detail in recorded music across many genres. To fumble for words, many recordings have to my ear an awesome 'transparent presence', whether techno or lieder or Joan Armatrading.

However, I still perceive orchestral strings - particularly large numbers playing the higher register - to sound somehow... a bit squashed or thin. It's hard to put into words, especially on Audio Science Review.

Is this something that is more to do with my end of things, or is it just part of life, how strings tend to sound when recorded?

If it's something at my end, are there things to investigate?

I mostly listen via Audirvana (Tidal HiFi). I have various diffusers, absorbers, a pair of Neumann KH310. I'm not currently doing any DRC.

As an example, into the opening movement of Abbado's famous Mahler 2, as the strings start to swell. For reference -
DG recordings are not particularly stellar in terms of sound quality, and at a time they used more mics than the orchestra had players and placed them too close to the sound sources.
That said, lesser electronics (DAC, amplifiers) will sound "brighter" and "screechier" or "harsh".

I'd love to see measurements of the electronics inside some of the most highly rated actives.
 
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