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Accurate and boring or colored and fun

Robin L

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Either you're listening to the music or you're listening to the gear. If you're in pro audio, you have to learn how to listen to gear. Otherwise, it's turtles all the way down. If you want your music lean an' nasty or fat and syrupy, that's your business. If you're eq-ing for somebody else, it's their business and if you want to keep their business you eq and compress it according to what they ask for. In that case, it's probably best to have as uncolored a playback chain as possible. But if you want SETs and horns at home, that's not my problem. Or my business.
 

Mart68

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Everyone here wants to hear the sound of their equipment. It's why people are on forums like this; you care about the sound quality of your system
much more than the average person who "just cares about the music."

No, I want to hear the sound of the recording as much as possible. My ideal system would add or change absolutely nothing. That's not everyone's ideal by a long way. Like the reviewer whose video I linked to earlier. He likes to use equipment that adds it's own tone and texture.
 

Inner Space

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So, net, easier to eliminate speaker issues by making a good initial choice and then focus on the remaining room corrections afterwards.

Still makes no sense to me. You say we should make "a good initial choice" and then abandon those virtues by later altering the "good initial choice" to what we might have called ab initio a "bad initial choice". If flat direct sound is a virtue, shouldn't we preserve it? I get that buying DSP is much easier than treating a room, but generally the easiest route isn't optimal.
 

MattHooper

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Here is what a sound engineer I have had some contact with said:

I have worked in the studio and as a sound engineer all my life

My studio monitors are straight, flat and piss off dull but damn accurate!
At home I want to cuddle with a little voodoo-flum and cuddly sound "


He likes old tube amps and vintage speakers, among other things.

I can understand him per se. He wants a different sound in his spare time. But for the rest of us who are not professional sound technicians. When we get home after work . We have not at our job listened to and analyzed music all day, so maybe that is exactly the preference? Curious about your attitude and your sound ideals.

Edit.
Isn't it easier to have a solution that does not color the sound and when, if you want a colored sound, you plug in an EQ?
I suspect that a colored sound may at first seem attractive (for example, an elevated "disco" bass) but that you get tired of it in the long run.

Hi Daniel,

This has come up a lot here so I've opined about it before, but since you ask...

I work in pro (TV/Film) sound too and have spent lots of time in mixing theaters that have been designed to produce very accurate sound. It's great. I can also enjoy both "accurate" sound systems (e.g. neutral frequency response,low coloration) but like your engineer pal I also can and do enjoy systems that do have some level of coloration. For my home listening.

So for instance, while I tend to choose generally well designed and pretty accurate loudspeakers, I use tube amps because I feel they add a little something I enjoy.

From my observations of audiophiles over time, to make a point, I'd make two overly broad generalisations: On one hand there are those who seek to make their systems simply "accurate" reproducers of the recorded signal, and then "however it sounds...that's how it sounds."
Others want the sound of their system to "sound more real" or mimic what they find to be characteristics of real instruments and voices.
(There is overlap of course, but I'm deliberately using broad strokes).

I find it is more usually the latter cohort that tends...perhaps surprisingly on first glance...to extol things like tube amps, or horn speakers or generally be more accepting of colorations, and talk about how the sound relates to "how things sound in real life" vs "I can pinpoint deviations from technical accuracy." It doesn't of course mean they are RIGHT in their claims, but in terms of motivation, it seems to me to be a trend.

So to take myself for an example. Please understand I'm not arguing that I am "right" in the following, but simply describing my own psychological motivations, which you seem to be asking for:

I've always been obsessed with live vs reproduced sound. I've done live vs reproduced comparisons with instruments and voices through various sound systems, I'm constantly comparing the characteristics of live sound vs reproduced, because it fascinates me and also because I find the sound of real instruments and voices to be sensuous and luxurious in tonal warmth and complexity.

And I have noted that it is ONLY when a sound system either transmits, or at least mimics these aspects to some degree, that I'm at all compelled to sit down and listen. Otherwise, I'm just happy listening to music on any device as I do other things.

First: it's a whole other discussion as to what one is actually hearing, listener bias etc. But I think it's fair in the context of the topic you raise "why prefer coloration?" to, at least for sake of argument say "Ok if we GRANT the colorations one hears are in fact being added to the system...WHY would you want to add them?"

So in that spirit, I'll get to my subjective impressions and motives:

To get right to adding coloration: in a nutshell I found that certain tube amplification seemed to add something to the sound of my system that reminded me more of what I hear in real life sounds. A bit more rich, round, soft, relaxed, spacious, filled out, 3d, and a sort of texture I like.
All of it is subtle, but adds up to a significant, to me, subjective preference.

So for instance I find my old CJ Premier 12 tube amps do that, but also seem to add this slight "golden upper midrange glow," like a slight illumination to the sound, which to me not only sounds pleasant: it mimicks real sounds a bit more. By that I mean, in comparison solid state amplification in the system sounds a bit more "canned," electronic, recorded, like the instruments are encased in the amber of the recorded ambience, separate from my room. That little bit of air/upper midrange illumination and texture seems to sort of "uncan" the sound for me, more like the instrument or voice is happening "in the same acoustic/air" as the room, more like seeing right through the speakers to being in the presence of a "real" voice or instrument.

Again, this is subtle stuff not "hit one over the head" differences. But subtle changes can have big subjective effects depending on what someone tends to notice or care about. It takes only a teeny tweak of an eq, objectively speaking, to make sibilance in a voice recording too hot, but even that teeny tweak can be the difference between the voice sounding natural and being cued to it being artificial.

So for instance I have been constantly amazed by one pair of speakers I own, little Spendor s3/5s, at how they capture some essential qualities of the human voice - the softness, roundness, fleshiness. When I listen to a naturally recorded female vocal and compare to my wife's voice, it sounds more organically like the real voice than most reproductions (to me). A while back I put a Bryston amp in to the system and when playing those tracks they immediately sounded to my ears less real - voices now had a slightly hardened, squeezed, tight sound that signalled "this is reproduced, a recording." It made me realize it wasn't just the speakers only that had been producing voices so convincingly, but the combination with the tube amp.

So...that bit of coloration from the tube amps, I find, just seem to make my speakers "disappear" from my mind as the source of the sound, and overall the "system disappears more" in it's mechanical nature, and I just more easily slip in to the sonic illusions on the recordings.
I don't think everyone else would make the same choice, but that's how I hear things.

But...what about "High Fidelity" and "accuracy?" Am I just abandoning those?

First, while many here use the term "High Fidelity" to mean "technical accuracy" keep in mind that actually wasn't the original use of that term.
Or at least not strictly. Originally "High Fidelity" sound was often touted as being about "High Fidelity To The Sound Of Real Voices And Instruments." In other words, that a sound system can produce a sense of realism. That's why so much of the original ad literature for "High Fidelity" sound equipment bragged about just that aspect of the sound. This was typical at the dawn of High Fidelity claims:
RCA HIGH FIDELITY AD 1.png


RCA HIGH FIDELITY AD 2.png



But it's perfectly fine to update or adopt a definition strictly related to technical accuracy, so long as the definition is stated and everyone is on the same page with that. (Though I think the above should be kept in mind whenever one encounters the claim "High Fidelity means X and therefore you aren't interested in High Fidelity if you are deviating from that").

Anyway...I don't fret over a loss of accuracy not because I don't care about it - I want recordings to exhibit their particular characteristics. Rather it's because I find the colorations I am introducing, while subjectively significant, are so tiny with respect to the characteristics on recordings, that the recording character completely swamps whatever colorations I'm introducing. Every recording sounds utterly different, all the musical and production choices in evidence. Fine detail and insight in to the recordings is incredible, VASTLY beyond the average consumer's sound system. I even have musician friends bring over their different masters of their music to check out, because all the minute choices they made are easily distinguishable.

So, no, I'm not sitting around fretting if my system isn't accurate enough, as if I'm missing some important musical message or information.

I've introduced just enough character to produce a significant subjective impression on sounding a bit more "natural" to my ears, but not enough
to wipe out all the relevant differences in recordings.

I hope this explanation makes some sense to you.

Cheers.
 
Last edited:

MediumRare

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Still makes no sense to me. You say we should make "a good initial choice" and then abandon those virtues by later altering the "good initial choice" to what we might have called ab initio a "bad initial choice". If flat direct sound is a virtue, shouldn't we preserve it? I get that buying DSP is much easier than treating a room, but generally the easiest route isn't optimal.
Sorry, you are completely misunderstanding. I'll try again.
- Start clean
- Find residual problems (in the room)
- Fix them

That is easier and more likely to work than your proposal:
- Start with problems (poor speakers)
- Add more problems (in the room)
- Fix compounded problems

Does that make more sense now?
 

MattHooper

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No, I want to hear the sound of the recording as much as possible. My ideal system would add or change absolutely nothing. That's not everyone's ideal by a long way. Like the reviewer whose video I linked to earlier. He likes to use equipment that adds it's own tone and texture.

I understand the point you were making.

But there at least seems the implication that you and the "colorations" person are having some sort of different experience, in the sense that the "colorations" person when sitting down to listen to music is "doing so to listen to his equipment" not the music, where you are sitting down to "Just hear the music."

Once either system is set up, both of you can be "just interested in hearing the music" when you sit down to listen, and both of you can also when you want luxuriate in the sound of your system...is it surely sounds wonderful and far better to your ears than any number of other consumer systems. So we are all about both the "sound" of our system and "the music."
 

egellings

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Thin bass makes sense for vinyl because groove swings are smaller and as a result more playing time can be had per side.
 

Inner Space

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Sorry, you are completely misunderstanding. I'll try again.
- Start clean
- Find residual problems (in the room)
- Fix them

Sorry, man, I'm not trying to be dim or troublesome (really!) ... but I can't get past the contradiction between your first point and your third. Are you not saying: start clean, and then deliberately change to not-clean? I.e., start with a flattish direct FR, and then deliberately migrate away from it? In which case, why limit your options and probably increase your expense by looking only at "clean" speakers, when you fully intend never to hear them that way? Why does a speaker's inherent FR matter, when you're already pre-planning to abandon it? Help me out here!
 

MediumRare

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Sorry, man, I'm not trying to be dim or troublesome (really!) ... but I can't get past the contradiction between your first point and your third. Are you not saying: start clean, and then deliberately change to not-clean? I.e., start with a flattish direct FR, and then deliberately migrate away from it? In which case, why limit your options and probably increase your expense by looking only at "clean" speakers, when you fully intend never to hear them that way? Why does a speaker's inherent FR matter, when you're already pre-planning to abandon it? Help me out here!
I'm not pre-planning to abandon anything. You're really over-complicating things. Have you ever done room correction? If not, I suggest you start there and then you'll understand.
 

Inner Space

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I'm not pre-planning to abandon anything.

Then I must have misunderstood, for which I apologize. I took you to mean a) buy speakers with a flattish direct sound; then b) immediately alter that direct sound to non-flattish, for room correction purposes, thereby never actually relying on, or perhaps even hearing, their original flattish direct sound.

My preferred method is to preserve the original direct sound by relying on physical room treatment; you seem to have found a non-physical method that doesn't rely on abandoning the direct sound you paid for. My only point was, suspecting you are in fact abandoning the direct sound you purchased, that arithmetically you may require less DSP power by starting from a non-flattish response in the speaker. I assumed it's where you end up that's important to you, not where you start.
 

Zim

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Colourless/accurate gear doesn’t sound “dull”. It just shows you how dull-sounding (mastering-wise) the music you’re listening to is.

Gear with colouration may or may not assist with your ability to enjoy dull-sounding music. But the trade-off is inaccuracy.

I personally want to listen to the music as the artist “intended”. That’s part of how I enjoy music. So I go with accurate gear. If what I end up hearing is un-captivating be it because it sounds dull or for any other reason, then well, I stop listening to it and move on to something else. There’s a lot of music out there anyway. And sometimes, the same album has different masterings.
 

LTig

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You quote one guy and make a generalization.
In mastering, the hifi speakers are numerous.
I'm a music lover. I use k+h o300 and kh420.
Not to hear the recording, not for the high fidelity but for their sound discretion.
So do I. With sub in a 50 sqm room just fantastic.
 

Rufus T. Firefly

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Hi Daniel,

This has come up a lot here so I've opined about it before, but since you ask...

I work in pro (TV/Film) sound too and have spent lots of time in mixing theaters that have been designed to produce very accurate sound. It's great. I can also enjoy both "accurate" sound systems (e.g. neutral frequency response,low coloration) but like your engineer pal I also can and do enjoy systems that do have some level of coloration. For my home listening.

So for instance, while I tend to choose generally well designed and pretty accurate loudspeakers, I use tube amps because I feel they add a little something I enjoy.

From my observations of audiophiles over time, to make a point, I'd make two overly broad generalisations: On one hand there are those who seek to make their systems simply "accurate" reproducers of the recorded signal, and then "however it sounds...that's how it sounds."
Others want the sound of their system to "sound more real" or mimic what they find to be characteristics of real instruments and voices.
(There is overlap of course, but I'm deliberately using broad strokes).

I find it is more usually the latter cohort that tends...perhaps surprisingly on first glance...to extol things like tube amps, or horn speakers or generally be more accepting of colorations, and talk about how the sound relates to "how things sound in real life" vs "I can pinpoint deviations from technical accuracy." It doesn't of course mean they are RIGHT in their claims, but in terms of motivation, it seems to me to be a trend.

So to take myself for an example. Please understand I'm not arguing that I am "right" in the following, but simply describing my own psychological motivations, which you seem to be asking for:

I've always been obsessed with live vs reproduced sound. I've done live vs reproduced comparisons with instruments and voices through various sound systems, I'm constantly comparing the characteristics of live sound vs reproduced, because it fascinates me and also because I find the sound of real instruments and voices to be sensuous and luxurious in tonal warmth and complexity.

And I have noted that it is ONLY when a sound system either transmits, or at least mimics these aspects to some degree, that I'm at all compelled to sit down and listen. Otherwise, I'm just happy listening to music on any device as I do other things.

First: it's a whole other discussion as to what one is actually hearing, listener bias etc. But I think it's fair in the context of the topic you raise "why prefer coloration?" to, at least for sake of argument say "Ok if we GRANT the colorations one hears are in fact being added to the system...WHY would you want to add them?"

So in that spirit, I'll get to my subjective impressions and motives:

To get right to adding coloration: in a nutshell I found that certain tube amplification seemed to add something to the sound of my system that reminded me more of what I hear in real life sounds. A bit more rich, round, soft, relaxed, spacious, filled out, 3d, and a sort of texture I like.
All of it is subtle, but adds up to a significant, to me, subjective preference.

So for instance I find my old CJ Premier 12 tube amps do that, but also seem to add this slight "golden upper midrange glow," like a slight illumination to the sound, which to me not only sounds pleasant: it mimicks real sounds a bit more. By that I mean, in comparison solid state amplification in the system sounds a bit more "canned," electronic, recorded, like the instruments are encased in the amber of the recorded ambience, separate from my room. That little bit of air/upper midrange illumination and texture seems to sort of "uncan" the sound for me, more like the instrument or voice is happening "in the same acoustic/air" as the room, more like seeing right through the speakers to being in the presence of a "real" voice or instrument.

Again, this is subtle stuff not "hit one over the head" differences. But subtle changes can have big subjective effects depending on what someone tends to notice or care about. It takes only a teeny tweak of an eq, objectively speaking, to make sibilance in a voice recording too hot, but even that teeny tweak can be the difference between the voice sounding natural and being cued to it being artificial.

So for instance I have been constantly amazed by one pair of speakers I own, little Spendor s3/5s, at how they capture some essential qualities of the human voice - the softness, roundness, fleshiness. When I listen to a naturally recorded female vocal and compare to my wife's voice, it sounds more organically like the real voice than most reproductions (to me). A while back I put a Bryston amp in to the system and when playing those tracks they immediately sounded to my ears less real - voices now had a slightly hardened, squeezed, tight sound that signalled "this is reproduced, a recording." It made me realize it wasn't just the speakers only that had been producing voices so convincingly, but the combination with the tube amp.

So...that bit of coloration from the tube amps, I find, just seem to make my speakers "disappear" from my mind as the source of the sound, and overall the "system disappears more" in it's mechanical nature, and I just more easily slip in to the sonic illusions on the recordings.
I don't think everyone else would make the same choice, but that's how I hear things.

But...what about "High Fidelity" and "accuracy?" Am I just abandoning those?

First, while many here use the term "High Fidelity" to mean "technical accuracy" keep in mind that actually wasn't the original use of that term.
Or at least not strictly. Originally "High Fidelity" sound was often touted as being about "High Fidelity To The Sound Of Real Voices And Instruments." In other words, that a sound system can produce a sense of realism. That's why so much of the original ad literature for "High Fidelity" sound equipment bragged about just that aspect of the sound. This was typical at the dawn of High Fidelity claims:
View attachment 152926

View attachment 152927


But it's perfectly fine to update or adopt a definition strictly related to technical accuracy, so long as the definition is stated and everyone is on the same page with that. (Though I think the above should be kept in mind whenever one encounters the claim "High Fidelity means X and therefore you aren't interested in High Fidelity if you are deviating from that").

Anyway...I don't fret over a loss of accuracy not because I don't care about it - I want recordings to exhibit their particular characteristics. Rather it's because I find the colorations I am introducing, while subjectively significant, are so tiny with respect to the characteristics on recordings, that the recording character completely swamps whatever colorations I'm introducing. Every recording sounds utterly different, all the musical and production choices in evidence. Fine detail and insight in to the recordings is incredible, VASTLY beyond the average consumer's sound system. I even have musician friends bring over their different masters of their music to check out, because all the minute choices they made are easily distinguishable.

So, no, I'm not sitting around fretting if my system isn't accurate enough, as if I'm missing some important musical message or information.

I've introduced just enough character to produce a significant subjective impression on sounding a bit more "natural" to my ears, but not enough
to wipe out all the relevant differences in recordings.

I hope this explanation makes some sense to you.

Cheers.
It's like you're in my mind.
 

Rufus T. Firefly

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Also Mr. Hooper, may I ask a question? I'm a huge consumer here in the second golden age of screen entertainment. I have noticed a huge difference in dialogue comprehension between listening to content through ear buds I have a pair of B&O's that I particularly like for movies and TV) and the TV. I know that's not a shocking observation but my question is, what is the ideal delivery you mix for? Is it for OEM TV speakers, Center channel or home theater set ups or ???
 

MediumRare

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Then I must have misunderstood, for which I apologize. I took you to mean a) buy speakers with a flattish direct sound; then b) immediately alter that direct sound to non-flattish, for room correction purposes, thereby never actually relying on, or perhaps even hearing, their original flattish direct sound.

My preferred method is to preserve the original direct sound by relying on physical room treatment; you seem to have found a non-physical method that doesn't rely on abandoning the direct sound you paid for. My only point was, suspecting you are in fact abandoning the direct sound you purchased, that arithmetically you may require less DSP power by starting from a non-flattish response in the speaker. I assumed it's where you end up that's important to you, not where you start.
You're making a contrast between physical room treatment and EQ or other digital correction. There is no distinction in this case. Both are effective at solving different aspects of room modes.

However, let's say you correct an over-lively room with absorption. Good. If your speakers started off with a hump at 8k what has happened? Still got that hump. What's your next move?
 

Longshan

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The answer is simple: if accurate equipment sounds boring to you, it's your music that's boring, not the equipment.

By boring he just means the speakers aren't hyping or flattering the source material. When you're mixing/mastering music you want what could be called "boring" speakers. They don't exaggerate certain frequencies, unlike hifi systems, which often have a smiley EQ built into them.
 

JSmith

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If, on the other hand, you are in a Michelin 3-star restaurant and want more salt and or pepper
Not sure what you mean here... in my country salt and pepper is always on the table, even in a fine dining establishment. No one is abused by the chef for adding salt and pepper.
a lack of salt or pepper
Is there? ;)

1631505910839.png


Accurate is not boring at all and coloured sound is not always "fun" either. What is fun to me is listening to the source accurately and if I feel the source is a bit off sounding, adding some EQ to taste for sure.



JSmith
 
OP
D

DanielT

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Hi Daniel,

This has come up a lot here so I've opined about it before, but since you ask...

I work in pro (TV/Film) sound too and have spent lots of time in mixing theaters that have been designed to produce very accurate sound. It's great. I can also enjoy both "accurate" sound systems (e.g. neutral frequency response,low coloration) but like your engineer pal I also can and do enjoy systems that do have some level of coloration. For my home listening.

So for instance, while I tend to choose generally well designed and pretty accurate loudspeakers, I use tube amps because I feel they add a little something I enjoy.

From my observations of audiophiles over time, to make a point, I'd make two overly broad generalisations: On one hand there are those who seek to make their systems simply "accurate" reproducers of the recorded signal, and then "however it sounds...that's how it sounds."
Others want the sound of their system to "sound more real" or mimic what they find to be characteristics of real instruments and voices.
(There is overlap of course, but I'm deliberately using broad strokes).

I find it is more usually the latter cohort that tends...perhaps surprisingly on first glance...to extol things like tube amps, or horn speakers or generally be more accepting of colorations, and talk about how the sound relates to "how things sound in real life" vs "I can pinpoint deviations from technical accuracy." It doesn't of course mean they are RIGHT in their claims, but in terms of motivation, it seems to me to be a trend.

So to take myself for an example. Please understand I'm not arguing that I am "right" in the following, but simply describing my own psychological motivations, which you seem to be asking for:

I've always been obsessed with live vs reproduced sound. I've done live vs reproduced comparisons with instruments and voices through various sound systems, I'm constantly comparing the characteristics of live sound vs reproduced, because it fascinates me and also because I find the sound of real instruments and voices to be sensuous and luxurious in tonal warmth and complexity.

And I have noted that it is ONLY when a sound system either transmits, or at least mimics these aspects to some degree, that I'm at all compelled to sit down and listen. Otherwise, I'm just happy listening to music on any device as I do other things.

First: it's a whole other discussion as to what one is actually hearing, listener bias etc. But I think it's fair in the context of the topic you raise "why prefer coloration?" to, at least for sake of argument say "Ok if we GRANT the colorations one hears are in fact being added to the system...WHY would you want to add them?"

So in that spirit, I'll get to my subjective impressions and motives:

To get right to adding coloration: in a nutshell I found that certain tube amplification seemed to add something to the sound of my system that reminded me more of what I hear in real life sounds. A bit more rich, round, soft, relaxed, spacious, filled out, 3d, and a sort of texture I like.
All of it is subtle, but adds up to a significant, to me, subjective preference.

So for instance I find my old CJ Premier 12 tube amps do that, but also seem to add this slight "golden upper midrange glow," like a slight illumination to the sound, which to me not only sounds pleasant: it mimicks real sounds a bit more. By that I mean, in comparison solid state amplification in the system sounds a bit more "canned," electronic, recorded, like the instruments are encased in the amber of the recorded ambience, separate from my room. That little bit of air/upper midrange illumination and texture seems to sort of "uncan" the sound for me, more like the instrument or voice is happening "in the same acoustic/air" as the room, more like seeing right through the speakers to being in the presence of a "real" voice or instrument.

Again, this is subtle stuff not "hit one over the head" differences. But subtle changes can have big subjective effects depending on what someone tends to notice or care about. It takes only a teeny tweak of an eq, objectively speaking, to make sibilance in a voice recording too hot, but even that teeny tweak can be the difference between the voice sounding natural and being cued to it being artificial.

So for instance I have been constantly amazed by one pair of speakers I own, little Spendor s3/5s, at how they capture some essential qualities of the human voice - the softness, roundness, fleshiness. When I listen to a naturally recorded female vocal and compare to my wife's voice, it sounds more organically like the real voice than most reproductions (to me). A while back I put a Bryston amp in to the system and when playing those tracks they immediately sounded to my ears less real - voices now had a slightly hardened, squeezed, tight sound that signalled "this is reproduced, a recording." It made me realize it wasn't just the speakers only that had been producing voices so convincingly, but the combination with the tube amp.

So...that bit of coloration from the tube amps, I find, just seem to make my speakers "disappear" from my mind as the source of the sound, and overall the "system disappears more" in it's mechanical nature, and I just more easily slip in to the sonic illusions on the recordings.
I don't think everyone else would make the same choice, but that's how I hear things.

But...what about "High Fidelity" and "accuracy?" Am I just abandoning those?

First, while many here use the term "High Fidelity" to mean "technical accuracy" keep in mind that actually wasn't the original use of that term.
Or at least not strictly. Originally "High Fidelity" sound was often touted as being about "High Fidelity To The Sound Of Real Voices And Instruments." In other words, that a sound system can produce a sense of realism. That's why so much of the original ad literature for "High Fidelity" sound equipment bragged about just that aspect of the sound. This was typical at the dawn of High Fidelity claims:
View attachment 152926

View attachment 152927


But it's perfectly fine to update or adopt a definition strictly related to technical accuracy, so long as the definition is stated and everyone is on the same page with that. (Though I think the above should be kept in mind whenever one encounters the claim "High Fidelity means X and therefore you aren't interested in High Fidelity if you are deviating from that").

Anyway...I don't fret over a loss of accuracy not because I don't care about it - I want recordings to exhibit their particular characteristics. Rather it's because I find the colorations I am introducing, while subjectively significant, are so tiny with respect to the characteristics on recordings, that the recording character completely swamps whatever colorations I'm introducing. Every recording sounds utterly different, all the musical and production choices in evidence. Fine detail and insight in to the recordings is incredible, VASTLY beyond the average consumer's sound system. I even have musician friends bring over their different masters of their music to check out, because all the minute choices they made are easily distinguishable.

So, no, I'm not sitting around fretting if my system isn't accurate enough, as if I'm missing some important musical message or information.

I've introduced just enough character to produce a significant subjective impression on sounding a bit more "natural" to my ears, but not enough
to wipe out all the relevant differences in recordings.

I hope this explanation makes some sense to you.

Cheers.
Thank you very much for taking the time to write so much and I must say very interesting and insightful. These were experiences that I appreciated as part of.

When you still seem to have the steam simmering and are in the process of writing, I can take the opportunity to ask. If you look back on your career, what changes have taken place for the better or for the worse?

Edit:

This may have been discussed on the forum earlier. As for tube amplifiers, I have been told that they produce a more pleasant distortion for the ears, based on even harmonics. If I remember correctly. Maybe that's right? In that case, it should probably be the reason why you can listen to tube amplifiers with pleasure despite their, on paper, relatively high levels of distortion. Do not know if I'm right out now?

On the other hand, an amplifier that only produces inaudible distortion should be preferable because even if a tube amplifier produces audible "pleasant" distortion, it is still distortion that colors the sound.

Which lands in the original question then:
To color or not to color the sound that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer .... and so on. :)
 
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DanielT

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Not sure what you mean here... in my country salt and pepper is always on the table, even in a fine dining establishment. No one is abused by the chef for adding salt and pepper.

Is there? ;)

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Accurate is not boring at all and coloured sound is not always "fun" either. What is fun to me is listening to the source accurately and if I feel the source is a bit off sounding, adding some EQ to taste for sure.



JSmith
I have never visited a Michelin 3-star restaurant. Took it for granted that the artist, the chef in this case, wanted people to take part in his creation so that his vision of how it should be eaten should not be ruined by amateurish "improvements".

However, I was with friends sometime around the age of 20 at a decent restaurant in Italy, Verona. After we were served our food, my friend asked for ketchup. I can say that was not appreciated by the staff.

By the way. Nice picture of those goodies.:)
 

Benedium

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Then I must have misunderstood, for which I apologize. I took you to mean a) buy speakers with a flattish direct sound; then b) immediately alter that direct sound to non-flattish, for room correction purposes, thereby never actually relying on, or perhaps even hearing, their original flattish direct sound.

My preferred method is to preserve the original direct sound by relying on physical room treatment; you seem to have found a non-physical method that doesn't rely on abandoning the direct sound you paid for. My only point was, suspecting you are in fact abandoning the direct sound you purchased, that arithmetically you may require less DSP power by starting from a non-flattish response in the speaker. I assumed it's where you end up that's important to you, not where you start.

I think I understand the problem. You and Medium Rare have different end goals. Your end goal is the true characteristics of the speaker, but medium rare's end goal is the true characteristics of the recording.
 
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