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Accurate and boring or colored and fun

Mart68

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Wow, that's toxic attitude. Do you say this to people you know? Tell them if you don't like accurage equipment, you're the problem, you're music sucks?

I regularly tell friends their choice of music sucks and they do the same to me. All part of life's rich tapestry.
I even have friends who think Steely Dan suck. I pray for them in their darkness.

You get a lot of people saying accurate is boring. That's because they think they have heard an accurate system, but an 'accurately measuring system' to these people is a CD player put through some nondescript Japanese amplifier that has 0.001% THD at 1KHz. They tend to disregard everything else especially loudspeakers and room.
 

Frgirard

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I'm fine with either style of system, although I start with the recording. I can no longer even listen to old, poor, thin sounding recordings. I couldn't care less how good the music is, it will sound atrocious to my ears. Most of the Beatles and much of Led Zeppelin's catalogue falls into that camp (but I can tolerate some Zeppelin albums such as In Through The Out Doors).

You can't unhear a more modern well done recording where there is actually meat on the bones so to speak. While I do not prefer highly compressed recordings, I also feel that there still exists the potential that if done well, they can still sound very good. There is skill involved in such matters after all. We now have recording and mixing/mastering engineers who have been working with compression for a long time, as well as new tools so compression has also advanced.

I find it smacks of elitism when people imply the only correct way to enjoy the music is with as neutral a playback chain as possible. Hogwash I say. There is no right or wrong, or more or less correct when it comes to the subjective enjoyment of the experience. I agree that the most neutral system will allow the original recording intent to be the most clear, but who is so full of themselves that they actually think they have the right to dictate how another person should enjoy their personal music experience? If somebody likes the added harmonic distortion of tubes, or the effects a horn based speaker imparts on the music great for them. I don't have to build my system that way.
Could you quote the people who tell the neutral is the good way to enjoy music?

Do you go in concert? The rock stage and the neutrality does not co-exist. Is it an issue?
 

Mart68

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I find it smacks of elitism when people imply the only correct way to enjoy the music is with as neutral a playback chain as possible. Hogwash I say. There is no right or wrong, or more or less correct when it comes to the subjective enjoyment of the experience. I agree that the most neutral system will allow the original recording intent to be the most clear, but who is so full of themselves that they actually think they have the right to dictate how another person should enjoy their personal music experience? If somebody likes the added harmonic distortion of tubes, or the effects a horn based speaker imparts on the music great for them. I don't have to build my system that way.

I don't think anyone here has said that or even believes that. The question is 'Is accurate boring?' - many people using tube amps, turntables, horns think that. They are wrong of course but no-one's telling them that they have to ditch their current equipment as a result. If they're happy then that's fine.
 

Robin L

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Could you quote the people who tell the neutral is the good way to enjoy music?
You can quote me. The concept is not "neutral" in the sense of washing out the dynamics or tone color. The idea is that the gear gets out of the way of the music.

Do you go in concert? The rock stage and the neutrality does not co-exist. Is it an issue?
Rock concerts, with their pre-distorted sound, are no kind of benchmark. A crap sound played through equipment that gets out of the way is still crap sound. If you want to get your ears ringing [as they do in a rock concert], just turn up the volume until your ears bleed. The distortion we hear at rock concerts is often the sound of our ears being overloaded. However, there are many other types of music performed live, that can do things no playback gear can do---ever been to a clavichord concert? The sound of the clavichord is always mangled by the recording process. And something like a Mahler Symphony [it gets loud but does not distort] is almost impossible to reproduce correctly as it strains the limits of playback gear, speakers in particular. A system "neutral" enough to realistically play back a big symphonic piece will be able to handle almost anything. But if you want the sound of your ears clipping, that's your business. That sort of sound has nothing to do with fidelity, everything to do with distortion.
 

Frgirard

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You can quote me. The concept is not "neutral" in the sense of washing out the dynamics or tone color. The idea is that the gear gets out of the way of the music.

Rock concerts, with their pre-distorted sound, are no kind of benchmark. A crap sound played through equipment that gets out of the way is still crap sound. If you want to get your ears ringing [as they do in a rock concert], just turn up the volume until your ears bleed. The distortion we hear at rock concerts is often the sound of our ears being overloaded. However, there are many other types of music performed live, that can do things no playback gear can do---ever been to a clavichord concert? The sound of the clavichord is always mangled by the recording process. And something like a Mahler Symphony [it gets loud but does not distort] is almost impossible to reproduce correctly as it strains the limits of playback gear, speakers in particular. A system "neutral" enough to realistically play back a big symphonic piece will be able to handle almost anything. But if you want the sound of your ears clipping, that's your business. That sort of sound has nothing to do with fidelity, everything to do with distortion.

I assist to concert rock with ears protections so....

What is the link between neutrality and high spl capabilities?

Are you able to enjoy music on a flawed speakers ?
Me: yes.

The fidelity is a fantasy. Who participates in the recording for old school records ?
Who attends the Mastering sessions of their purchased records?
A commercial speaker must be usable in all room. The anechoic flat response is the way to reach this goal.
 
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Inner Space

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You do seem particularly dense. Perhaps obtuse is the word.

Point is until you get the speakers in the room and measure in the room, in the position, you dont know where you will be with the room response

Great - you solved the mystery. I'm dense and obtuse. Except then you go ahead and agree with me. What a weird and unpleasant response.
 

Spocko

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Yes, if gated to prevent the measurement microphone from picking up reflections.

If not gated, it will be “anything goes”, and if you don’t smooth it out, it will look like an intense comb filter. If you do smooth it, it will usually be a fairly lumpy ride that slowly drops in level to the higher frequencies, for a typical domestic room.

Please note that I generally agree with your main points, that anechoically flat speakers are not boring etc, and that the room makes a difference. I just wanted to add that the room can’t compensate for an anechoically not-flat speaker. Like Duke says above, the best sounding speakers get both the direct and reflected components of sound right. The direct component being a flat anechoic response, and the reflected component being the product of the speaker‘s off-axis behaviour and the room.
Agreed, my post was a bit of a sweeping generalization!
 

Spocko

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I don't think anyone here has said that or even believes that. The question is 'Is accurate boring?' - many people using tube amps, turntables, horns think that. They are wrong of course but no-one's telling them that they have to ditch their current equipment as a result. If they're happy then that's fine.
I think the issue is whether those who complain of "boring" neutral speakers have actually ever heard these neutral speakers? I'm not saying they haven't, but I think starting starting your audiophile journey at the baseline of neutral is a great start, and then from there experiment with non neutral speakers just to see if you like it differently. But if you start by accepting other's opinion that neutral/flat is boring and go straight to "exciting" without ever having experienced neutral speakers - you're starting off on the wrong foot.
 

Newman

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Great - you solved the mystery. I'm dense and obtuse. Except then you go ahead and agree with me. What a weird and unpleasant response.
Still, you can't blame Tony for having trouble seeing "Could be a flat speaker might need way more EQ than a random non-flat speaker, in which case the non-flat speaker offers "maximum room"" as anything but obtuse...

Anyway, IMO if a flat speaker needs "way more EQ", you have major problems.
 

tomtoo

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I think the issue is whether those who complain of "boring" neutral speakers have actually ever heard these neutral speakers? I'm not saying they haven't, but I think starting starting your audiophile journey at the baseline of neutral is a great start, and then from there experiment with non neutral speakers just to see if you like it differently. But if you start by accepting other's opinion that neutral/flat is boring and go straight to "exciting" without ever having experienced neutral speakers - you're starting off on the wrong foot.

We can stop this boring discussion by showing user preference data from harmann. Where this boring flat speakers where from every user group prefered.
But who cares, there are subjects that prever boom and tizz. Makes no sense to me to discuss personal preference, couse its free like free in freedom.
 

symphara

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Chasing "flatness" seems to me a fool's errand. Better to look for speakers whose sound you enjoy, in your room.

The most important thing you can get is a home demo.
 

Mart68

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We can stop this boring discussion by showing user preference data from harmann. Where this boring flat speakers where from every user group prefered.
But who cares, there are subjects that prever boom and tizz. Makes no sense to me to discuss personal preference, couse its free like free in freedom.

From memory about 20% did not prefer the 'good' measuring speakers so it's not quite a one size fits all situation.

I know some people who like their speakers with a big hump in the mid-range, they want 'the band playing in the room' sort of sound. Who's to argue with them? They do also tend to be the people who are always complaining about recording quality too though....
 

Inner Space

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Still, you can't blame Tony for having trouble seeing "Could be a flat speaker might need way more EQ than a random non-flat speaker, in which case the non-flat speaker offers "maximum room"" as anything but obtuse...

Anyway, IMO if a flat speaker needs "way more EQ", you have major problems.

Cool. We're not curing cancer here, so I don't want to make a big deal out of it. All I'm saying is that a necessarily unknown destination offers no prior clue about the best starting point. Post-hoc arithmetic evaluation will provide the answer, which is that starting with any particular predetermined response is statistically unlikely to be the most advantageous departure point. And yes, we all agree that rooms introduce major problems. Over and out on what is a picayune point, I agree.
 

symphara

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From memory about 20% did not prefer the 'good' measuring speakers so it's not quite a one size fits all situation.

I know some people who like their speakers with a big hump in the mid-range, they want 'the band playing in the room' sort of sound. Who's to argue with them? They do also tend to be the people who are always complaining about recording quality too though....
Plus, the Harman test was done in their specific (and probably carefully controlled) room, if memory serves me. It proves nothing about preference in a random living room.
 

Trdat

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Recipe for perfect home audio:
1. Select speakers with the flattest FR and lowest distortion possible, in the form factor that suits your application.
2. Supplement with 1-4 subs, as needed, for proper bass extension.
3. Select amplification (if passive speakers) to allow 10x wattage than your highest typical SPL to ensure dynamics with SINAD at good as you can afford (distortion will jump at the dynamic points so don’t assume "inaudible" at normal SPL will cover dynamic moments).
4. Apply digital (and in extreme cases, physical) room correction.
5. Select a source with at least -96 dB SINAD and flat FR to ensure audible transparency to any recording.
6. Apply personal EQ to taste - yes, some masters are inadequate. Don’t suffer bad cooking just to be ascetic!

I not only chose sources with at least -96 db SINAD, I've triamped my system with every piece of my equipment being measured well even the drivers, except my speaker design itself. I have completed absolutely everything you mention in your list. Number 1 and 2 are critical.

To be honest, I have been meaning to start a thread where DIY'ers can describe what they think is the 3 main reasons for a high end system and then a discussion to connect these factors to science. With experts chiming in and giving us a lowdown and then we can expand on that.

The only thing I would add to the list is that some absorbtion can bring down RT60 to a reasonable range for decent bass if the room needs it. 4 subs is great, but a touch of absorbtion on top can do wonders.
 

tomtoo

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From memory about 20% did not prefer the 'good' measuring speakers so it's not quite a one size fits all situation.

I know some people who like their speakers with a big hump in the mid-range, they want 'the band playing in the room' sort of sound. Who's to argue with them? They do also tend to be the people who are always complaining about recording quality too though....

Thats why it makes not much sense to me to discuss preference. 80% prefere them, 20% not. Learn what you like, you have the measurements, compare. Arguing about personal preference is useless. Preference can change from year to year, situation to situation. There are good arguments to follow the flat response people, if you dont like, dont do it.
 

krabapple

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I'm fine with either style of system, although I start with the recording. I can no longer even listen to old, poor, thin sounding recordings. I couldn't care less how good the music is, it will sound atrocious to my ears. Most of the Beatles and much of Led Zeppelin's catalogue falls into that camp (but I can tolerate some Zeppelin albums such as In Through The Out Doors).

You can't unhear a more modern well done recording where there is actually meat on the bones so to speak. While I do not prefer highly compressed recordings, I also feel that there still exists the potential that if done well, they can still sound very good. There is skill involved in such matters after all. We now have recording and mixing/mastering engineers who have been working with compression for a long time, as well as new tools so compression has also advanced.

I find it smacks of elitism when people imply the only correct way to enjoy the music is with as neutral a playback chain as possible. Hogwash I say. There is no right or wrong, or more or less correct when it comes to the subjective enjoyment of the experience. I agree that the most neutral system will allow the original recording intent to be the most clear, but who is so full of themselves that they actually think they have the right to dictate how another person should enjoy their personal music experience? If somebody likes the added harmonic distortion of tubes, or the effects a horn based speaker imparts on the music great for them. I don't have to build my system that way.

Enjoy your straw man argument (bold), and your system.

(I find In Through the Out Door to be one of the *worst* LZ albums in every way..and I pity 'audiophiles' who 'can no longer even listen to' the rest)
 

krabapple

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Chasing "flatness" seems to me a fool's errand. Better to look for speakers whose sound you enjoy, in your room.

And thereafter make sure you never change rooms...or any furniture in the room.

What I really don't get is why reasoning like yours keep bobbing up for air on a forum devoted to measurable performance and its correlates to subjective 'performance'.
 
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