• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Accurate and boring or colored and fun

tomtoo

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
1,855
Likes
1,812
Location
Germany
Me too. A permanent for example boost of the base, is not something I'm interested in.On the other hand everynow and then for some song EQ. I usually do that.

Tone controls, EQ, can make sense to use if you have a party for example. Rock music thumps on. Full of party people. The sound should be heard by everyone who is in different places in the listening room. Then it may make sense to EQ. Compare that to "fine" listening when you listen yourself placed in sweetspot.

Edit:
When I think about it. If you are going to turn your listening room into a disco, fill the room with dancing people, then maybe you should think of a completely different solution than the one you have for everyday life? That could be the topic for a new thread here at ASR.:)

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...s/jbl-srx835p-reviewed-powered-monitor.25300/

Good for dancing, even Amirs wife had to admit. ;)
 
OP
D

DanielT

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
466
Likes
254
Location
Sweden
Accurate need not be boring. Neither is coloured really fun. ITs all up to individual preference, gear and even occassion, type of music and recording.

The trouble is that sometimes, accurate may not be what a person likes. One most common example is sound that is too bright for some. Trumpet, singer's "SSS" etc... if its too bright, it becomes irritating. So, you might want to roll off the treble a bit.

Then its also limited by the gear you have, esp. speakers. If your gear can't do it, EQ can't do anything. Things like speaker limitation, amp power limitation and even budget. The KEF R1 is a great speaker. Can you afford it? This is what I meant by budget limitation.
The idea with the title of this thread was to start a discussion. A little provocative, admittedly but that was the idea. For my part, I agree with what you say.

With that said, I can understand the sound engineer I quoted in my start post. Of course, people get to listen to what they want, how they want.

There are so many different ways to listen to music. Also why not have different solutions? For different occasions. In the same way that a vintage car can be nice to drive in from time to time, mostly for the feeling. It has nothing to do with its true performance where any simpler new car would be better (better comfort, faster, safer on the road and so on).

There, I see no difference between riding in the vintage car from time to time compared to occasionally taking out an old turntable, and playing it with a pair of vintage speakers and a vintage amplifier.:)

Edit:

Thanks for the tip, KEF R1. Interesting. Slightly low sensitivity, but it does not matter if the distortion is low. With a suitable amplifier so.:)
 
Last edited:

tomtoo

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
1,855
Likes
1,812
Location
Germany
The idea with the title of this thread was to start a discussion. A little provocative, admittedly but that was the idea. For my part, I agree with what you say.

With that said, I can understand the sound engineer I quoted in my start post. Of course, people get to listen to what they want, how they want.

There are so many different ways to listen to music. Also why not have different solutions? For different occasions. In the same way that a vintage car can be nice to drive in from time to time, mostly for the feeling. It has nothing to do with its true performance where any simpler new car would be better (better comfort, faster, safer on the road and so on).

There, I see no difference between riding in the vintage car from time to time compared to occasionally taking out an old turntable, and playing it with a pair of vintage speakers and a vintage amplifier.:)

My thinking, let the people enjoy what they enjoy. There is a technical point of view in me, and this is clear and easy. But iam a subject, and listen to music is fun. So that subjective part is first.
 

ThoFi

Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Messages
108
Likes
24
The tube amp discussion, its boring.

To avoid it i take the subjective point of view. We are all subjects and what we hear is influenced by a lot of things. Even the glow of tubes can influence what you hear. Thats why abx not works in that area.
People love there tube amps couse they have some magic that SS not have.
Thats ok for me. As a technical person class d has some magic for me. What is good for me, couse they are much more economic.

I am also a technical person.
So I bought a Hypex Class D power amp.
The sound was too fast, too detailed, too edgy, too much high frequencies. too analytical for me. Its fatigue my ear.
After that I bought a 50W tube amp.
Also detailed but much more too my taste.

So for me the new tech Class D is not to my taste. It makes me to turn off the music!
The tube amp makes me happy every time I turn on the music.
 

tomtoo

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
1,855
Likes
1,812
Location
Germany
I am also a technical person.
So I bought a Hypex Class D power amp.
The sound was too fast, too detailed, too edgy, too much high frequencies. too analytical for me. Its fatigue my ear.
After that I bought a 50W tube amp.
Also detailed but much more too my taste.

So for me the new tech Class D is not to my taste. It makes me to turn off the music!
The tube amp makes me happy every time I turn on the music.

What ever you like.
 

Duke

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Manufacturer
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
797
Likes
1,790
Location
Princeton, Texas
What you should mask at 0,000x% thd?


Actually THD is a poor predictor of subjective preference.

The GedLee Metric correlates much better with subjective preference. It looks at the transfer function directly and includes weighting based on psychoacoustic principles.

After he had completed the data analysis which resulted in his AES papers on the subject, Earl remarked to me, "Duke, now I understand why you and your friends like tube amps."
 

tomtoo

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
1,855
Likes
1,812
Location
Germany
Actually THD is a poor predictor of subjective preference.

The GedLee Metric correlates much better with subjective preference.

After he had completed the data analysis which resulted in his AES papers on the subject, Earl remarked to me, "Duke, now I understand why you and your friends like tube amps."

Thx! I have to read this in detail. To see what numbers we talk about.
 

tomtoo

Major Contributor
Joined
Nov 20, 2019
Messages
1,855
Likes
1,812
Location
Germany
totally agree!
but for me it’s important to say that the best measured equipment must not be the best sonically.

Could depend on you personell preference.
Its absolutly possible that someone says for me the better measuring device sounds better. The freedom of choice you want, you have to give others too.
 

restorer-john

Master Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
7,611
Likes
19,997
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Let's say this. If you are in a cheap hamburger place and after you get the french fries salt them, nothing raises an eyebrow. If, on the other hand, you are in a Michelin 3-star restaurant and want more salt and or pepper, the situation is different.It's probably not time to change the top chef's creation.

If you like recordings with distorted guitars and if you are a real cracker for distorted guitars, then there is nothing wrong, if you at home, and if you would have the opportunity to get it MORE distorted. Even if it goes against the creator's intentions. You do not permanently destroy the artwork itself. It's just a temporary setting.

Speaking of permanent. Not so successful, so to speak:

Amateur restoration botches Jesus painting in Spain

https://www.pri.org/stories/2012-08-25/amateur-restoration-botches-jesus-painting-spain

Now a saviour of the town and a major tourist attraction.

https://nypost.com/2016/03/12/infamous-botched-jesus-painting-now-a-major-tourist-attraction/
 

Galliardist

Active Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2021
Messages
103
Likes
111
Location
Sydney. NSW, Australia
The problem with the purist it has to be neutral approach is that it ignores one very important factor - we are all different. Your neutral is my shrill (it was in my case for many years), my dynamic is your brash - balancing this out with equipment that is not neutral is just as valid an approach as using DSP in a neutral system. The colour settings on a TV example - defective colour vison in men is very common, why should someone watch a TV with a colour balance that looks wrong to them simply because it is correct?
We may all be different, but the sound of the performer on that drum set, trumpet, or piano stubbornly remains the same...

I'm reminded of an anecdote I read in one of the UK mags (possibly Hi-Fi Answers) many years ago. It concerned a turntable designer and his friend. Every couple of weeks the turntable designer would invite the friend around to hear progress on the new model, played behind an acoustic curtain (used to hide details of the changes made). The designer got more concerned as the friend would criticise the sound of a violin recording each visit, and decided a radical change was in order. Still, the next visit, the friend got quite vitriolic according to the story - the violin sound was the worst yet, bright, shrill, brittle.
From behind the curtain, stepped the violinist...
 

Frgirard

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Messages
819
Likes
477
The problem with the purist it has to be neutral approach is that it ignores one very important factor - we are all different. Your neutral is my shrill (it was in my case for many years), my dynamic is your brash - balancing this out with equipment that is not neutral is just as valid an approach as using DSP in a neutral system. The colour settings on a TV example - defective colour vison in men is very common, why should someone watch a TV with a colour balance that looks wrong to them simply because it is correct?

a good definition of nihilsme
 

FeddyLost

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
373
Likes
209
The GedLee Metric correlates much better with subjective preference. It looks at the transfer function directly and includes weighting based on psychoacoustic principles.
It would be great if someone already made something with distortion profiling according to this metric and confirmed this idea with commercial success.
Also I'd like to see at least few examples of measured equipment with significantly different Gedlee Metrics to understand this. Manual calculation of Shorter's weighting with some harmonics' graphs is not very useful and comfortable.

Its absolutly possible that someone says for me the better measuring device sounds better.
A lot of measurements is made for predictions. Unfortunately, human pleasure is not a physical quantity. So, we need some metrics better suited for these predictions.

the violin sound was the worst yet, bright, shrill, brittle.
As typical real instrument sounds. Most of them are really bad in nearfield without aggressive equalization.
 

Duke

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Manufacturer
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 22, 2016
Messages
797
Likes
1,790
Location
Princeton, Texas
It would be great if someone already made something with distortion profiling according to this metric and confirmed this idea with commercial success.


The Gedlee Metric has not (yet) been embraced by the industry at large. But perhaps merit rather than commercial success is a more scientific yardstick for evaluating non-intuitive new ideas.

Also I'd like to see at least few examples of measured equipment with significantly different Gedlee Metrics to understand this.


Audio Xpress recently reviewed software which includes the Gedlee metric, see the section entitled "A Few Example Measurements":

https://www.virtins.com/doc/Multi-Instrument-in-AudioXpress-March-2021.pdf
 
Last edited:

MediumRare

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Messages
1,464
Likes
1,691
Location
Chicago
In my case tube amps that work well on thick modern metal mix had prohibitive pricing, so it was not an option.
And then i moved to active solutions and life became even easier.
Life begins at 200 wpc into 8 ohms.
 

FeddyLost

Senior Member
Joined
May 24, 2020
Messages
373
Likes
209
Life begins at 200 wpc into 8 ohms.
In case of new commercially available tube amps it means that we go into vehicle price realm.

But perhaps merit rather than commercial success is a more scientific yardstick for evaluating non-intuitive new ideas.
I'd say mp3 compression method also was new idea once.
I still beleive if something is really useful, it will find the way to the market.
Better perceived quality with same formal specs is something that worth inventing.

see the section entitled "A Few Example Measurements"
Their measurement is not the best example that I can imagine, but anyway, it's a good sign.
Maybe Amir will add this metric somehow as alternative to SINAD for those who like single score...
 

MattHooper

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
2,020
Likes
3,097
I would get bored with the same color every day! :p

Understandable!

I think a tolerance for a certain level of technical coloration can possibly be explained by different approaches to what we are looking for
and concentrating on in a sound system.

If you are seeking technical accuracy to the source signal above all, then you may have the mindset that once that is achieved (e.g. low enough source/amp distortion, neutral-enough speakers well set up), then you are done. You sit back and the sound is whatever it is, and the sound of each track through your system is whatever it is. No more fussing.

On the other hand someone like myself likes to compare the qualities of a sound system to properties of real life sounds, and note what translates and what doesn't through a sound system. To that end, whether technically accurate or not, I'm evaluating "the sound of a system" and against what I perceive to be the characteristics of real voices and instruments.

And what I find therefore is that ALL systems sound "colored." To me even the most neutral, well behaved systems I've heard depart from real life in a way that colors the sound. Once I hear drum cymbals, sax, trumpet, acoustic guitar etc through a speaker system there is a certain timbral sameness and I know forever more generally how those instruments will sound through that system. There are no surprises, as there are constantly in real life sounds. It's black and white vs real life.

So, I end up choosing the system that sounds a bit more "natural" to my ears, and if that means a slight nudge in a certain direction, that's ok because I'm going to find a "sameness" to some degree no matter what I choose.

So it's like when I replaced my tube amps on and off for a month or two with a solid state Bryston amp. Once I got used to the Bryston amp in the system, it sounded different, but in it's own way consistent with the same "tonal color." The CJ amps just nudged the whole system's tonal properties slightly in a direction where I'd appreciate the sound of everything that much more. (And I'm only referring to tube amps out of convenience - I could be talking about different speakers or whatever).

I totally get why anyone here doesn't want to introduce deviations from accuracy, and also why someone else may find certain colorations add a sameness they don't like. I'm just trying to explain how others like myself end up sometimes preferring some level of coloration, while not utterly abandoning the idea of accuracy outright.
 

Purité Audio

Major Contributor
Industry Insider
Barrowmaster
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
4,737
Likes
3,646
Location
London
If you enjoy ’low-fi’ why not, personally though I wouldn’t pay too much for that added distortion.
Keith
 

stevenswall

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
944
Likes
710
Location
Orem, UT
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?

Yes.

But people don't want you to reduce their illusion and mysticism to something as simple as that.
 
Top Bottom