- Aug 18, 2017
Part of the non-linearity effect. Unavoidable, since the transfer curve isn't symmetric around DC.
Every listener is different. So there is an answer for every listener and for every genre of music they listen to.For some time now, I have been running @pkane's PKHarmonic VST which has the ability to add various amounts of harmonic distortion. I have also played with some Exciter VST plugins which (unlike PK) allow for targeted addition of harmonic distortion - for example, you can add high frequency harmonic spectra and produce the illusion of clarity, or low frequency spectra which makes playback sound fuller.
A number of people have visited me and listened to my system. They do not know that I am adding harmonic distortion to my system. I simply ask them if they prefer A or B (single blind test). Without exception, everybody has preferred the sound of some harmonic distortion added to the signal. About 10 people so far. The adjectives they have used are the same as what I described - it sounds more full, and has more clarity. Of course, I add the harmonic distortion to taste and I avoid adding so much that it sounds screechy or bloated because both outcomes are certainly possible. But it seems, everybody who has listened to my system (including some objectivists), prefers the sound of a little bit of harmonic distortion. The looks on their faces when I tell them what I am doing is quite priceless, ranging from disbelief to disgust. But hey - they voted for the distortion as sounding better!
This has lead me to wonder if there have been any studies that have been performed to show whether or not there is actually a preference for some distortion. This might explain why so many in our hobby love the sound of poorly measuring equipment. I know that it is religion among many in our hobby that the signal remain as unmolested as possible for high fidelity reproduction - it is not my aim to discuss this in this thread. What I want to know is whether other people have tried it and preferred the sound of a bit of distortion, and whether there have been any studies showing preference for some types of distortion.
Imagine what turntables are contributing!I think I need some assistance in clarifying my confusion about your positive findings while "targeted addition of harmonic distortion".
When the findings that substantiated the adding of dither'd noise - at the LSB of RedBook CD format - improved the sound: I gulped!
I had a hard time swallowing that "bitter pill"... that adding noise improved sound quality. As I am with your findings.
It sounds like you are adding GLOBAL spectrum content (your targeted addition of thd), with no due regard to actual instruments or to their individual spectral content themselves.
Some instruments (may) take kindly to added presence (or distortions) but I am not certain if All instruments do.
IMHO: You may be encroaching in a scientific endeavor that is even above the expertise of professionals recording engineers, et al.
The same transfer function is responsible for both. One tone (THD) vs. multiple tones (IMD).harmonics are far less aggravating on the ear than IMD
I have said the same on several threads. Adding distortion, compression, and echo to the whole tack at home is a choice I do not make. Others are free to make that.Distortion/Saturation is done song-by-song, meticulously, and throughout every step of the process in the studio.
Ex: guitar amp gain > microphone choice > microphone preamp choice > effects/mixing (compression/saturation/etc), and even then saturation can be added in the mastering process.
The engineers involved know the correct way (and most importantly, places) to add saturation and how to make it suit the song, and every different song. Let them do their job, instead of adding a fixed amount indiscriminately to every song you play (via sub-par components, or recreational use of plugins like above, etc).
Also anecdotally, harmonics are far less aggravating on the ear than IMD. I think it's misguided to do this test with solely harmonics, as sub-par gear, which I read as the connotation of the original post, like tube amps, add a fair amount of nasty IMD.
What’s the music EDIT, never mind, answered above, classical.What I want to know is whether other people have tried it and preferred the sound of a bit of distortion, and whether there have been any studies showing preference for some types of distortion
I'm sorry to pedantically repeat myself over and over with the same question every thread about subjective reports, but what did you do to verify?I have the same experience, see OP in this thread: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...e-sx3040-v2-audio-exciter.44164/#post-1588224
If I listen to a recording of a single instrument like an acoustic guitar, like this one:the version without added harmonics sounds dry, more natural. But the version with (just a little bit of) harmonic distortion sounds more exciting and engaging. I don't think it's just a loudness effect. It's more like a difference between a clean, dry sound and an engaging, exciting sound. Over time, I did dial the harmonics back a bit but now I prefer the version with distortion over the one without more than 90% of the time. I mainly listen to pop and jazz.
I don't see the need for any kind of focused study, the popularity of many components such as SET/Tube amps and vinyl sources point to the fact that yes, many types of distortion give listeners a pleasant experience..This has lead me to wonder if there have been any studies that have been performed to show whether or not there is actually a preference for some distortion. This might explain why so many in our hobby love the sound of poorly measuring equipment. I know that it is religion among many in our hobby that the signal remain as unmolested as possible for high fidelity reproduction - it is not my aim to discuss this in this thread.
Let's take a simple example:I am not interested in philosophical discussions about what "high fidelity" means, because it means "fidelity to the recording" and that is that. I said so in my first post. What I am interested in, is whether some added distortion actually subjectively enhances the sound, not a dogmatic assertion that as little distortion as possible sounds the best.
Hahaha. I picked up a couple of small steaks the other day at Walmart... I got to the checkout and it came up as $37. I passed on that... Too rich for my blood. Safeway in my opinion has better meat and the prices on steaks seems to be reasonable. I do remember a boss of mine many years ago tossed a couple hundred to his son and advised him to spend it all on steaks at the Italian butcher shop... So we went over and the butcher knew the customer by name and knew what he wanted. So we waited for awhile while he butchered a side of beef. The steaks where like 3" thick and very large. That was the best steak I ever had. Then we would go to a steak house with Alberta beef served. We would order the big steak. It was like a 1.5 hour meal stuffing it all inside and the car ride over curbs was a bit painful but we enjoyed it very much.I'll pass on the fish.
Give me a huge cut of med-rare prime Angus Beef for my crave.
Amen, this is a argument I've had many times.Yes, obviously I know that. I am not interested in philosophical discussions about what "high fidelity" means, because it means "fidelity to the recording" and that is that.