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Embracing Simplicity in Audio: Anyone Else Skipping Room Correction, Measurement Microphones, and the Like?

computer-audiophile

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I've always considered myself an early adopter, perhaps even an avant-gardist, when it comes to hi-fi technology. Over the course of the hi-fi journey, there have been paradigm shifts – the transition to CDs, later embracing streaming, and the shift from bulky floor-standing speakers to sleek active monitors, just to name a few.

In my experience, I've found success in keeping my signal paths straightforward. I've been hesitant to transform my regular home listening environment into an acoustic laboratory with heavy computer usage or reliance on proprietary DSP products. Call me old-fashioned, but I value the simplicity of my setup.

Are there others out there who, like me, choose to forgo room correction, measurement microphones, and other sophisticated tools in favor of a more straightforward audio experience? I'd love to hear about your approaches, experiences, and the reasoning behind your decision.

Is simplicity still a virtue in the ever-evolving landscape of audio technology?
 
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I respect simplicity. As always, each individual is unique, and each needs to evaluate the cost of complexity vs. the benefit that they see.

For myself, I advocate closefield listening to neutral speakers in a well-treated room. Adjustment of the placement of the speakers and listening position in that room can work wonders. I tend to accept recordings as they are, rather than use DSP and multichannel playback to "transform" them.

In all things, I follow the maxim, "Make everything as simple as possible ... but no simpler." I appreciate the improvements that modern technology can provide, and I am willing to use them, but only when I deem them necessary. I have found that very often, I don't need to follow the latest fad (or craze) in signal manipulation.

I focus on the music, the performance and the unique enjoyment that music provides us. I can tolerate equipment I dislike far easier than I can tolerate music I dislike.

But like I said, each individual is unique. :)

Jim
 
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fpitas

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It's a valid choice. Virtue? I'd argue that. You'll get better accuracy other ways, if you care about that.
 
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The topic came to my mind spontaneously, and I didn't hesitate to open the thread. Just now, something else occurred to me. The esteemed designer Dieter Rams had the following maxim: 'Less but better'. (Weniger, aber besser) I have tried to internalize this philosophy.
 

Tangband

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I've always considered myself an early adopter, perhaps even an avant-gardist, when it comes to hi-fi technology. Over the course of the hi-fi journey, there have been paradigm shifts – the transition to CDs, later embracing streaming, and the shift from bulky floor-standing speakers to sleek active monitors, just to name a few.

In my experience, I've found success in keeping my signal paths straightforward. I've been hesitant to transform my regular home listening environment into an acoustic laboratory with heavy computer usage or reliance on proprietary DSP products. Call me old-fashioned, but I value the simplicity of my setup.

Are there others out there who, like me, choose to forgo room correction, measurement microphones, and other sophisticated tools in favor of a more straightforward audio experience? I'd love to hear about your approaches, experiences, and the reasoning behind your decision.

Is simplicity still a virtue in the ever-evolving landscape of audio technology?
Most roomcorrection programs change the music quality for the worse - ie are not transparent also If you do no corrections at all. WiiM pro is one brilliant exception - both cheap and transparent at the same time so one can use the PEQ function without loosing audible transparency.

Doing measurement corrections with the help of a microphone takes a long time to learn how to do it correctly , most room correction programes give unfortunately wrong instructions . The ear/brain is very different working than a microphone. The brains selects sound, the microphone take up all the sound.

The ear is much better to judge the playback quality and the intentions of the musicians than any measurement microphone . As John Atkinsson at stereophile says : ” all measurements tell lies ” .

Its easy to waste lifetime in measuring the wrong things , theres also nothing called perfect sound with 2 channel playback…..
 
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fpitas

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Its easy to waste lifetime in measuring the wrong things
That's true. It takes time to learn how to do it correctly, like anything worth doing.
 

winsome

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New comer to the forum, my first thread was asking what would be next feasible upgrade outside my current setup. Was told room correction/measurement is the way to go. The steps are pretty daunting and technical for beginner like me, also price of UMIK-1 is almost double compared to say US and most importantly, I like the sound of current setup and placement. I'm planning to move house around next year or so, then I'd have new room. So I'm holding off the room correction and measurement effort first.

I may do it eventually or maybe never at all.........
 
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I have found that very often, I don't need to follow the latest fad (or craze) in signal manipulation.
There was a time when practically every decent hi-fi rack had an equaliser with lots of sliders. I had that too, of course. Later came a time when even simple tone controls and filters disappeared again. Today I don't have any tone controls in my system. I could of course loop in a digital equaliser in the software when streaming, but I don't do that.
 

Purité Audio

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Implementing one or two eq filters will allow you to enjoy full-range sound in your room without ‘boom’ that’s pretty simple and probably the single biggest improvement in terms of EQ you can make.
Keith
 

fpitas

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I never owned those old analog equalizers, because they were so inflexible. My DSP has 1Hz resolution and Q from 0.33 to 72, so I can actually EQ things properly.
 
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I never owned those old analog equalizers, because they were so inflexible. My DSP has 1Hz resolution and Q from 0.33 to 72, so I can actually EQ things properly.
These analogue equalisers were the best there was back then. It was the time before computers. You can't compare the two.
 

fpitas

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These analogue equalisers were the best there was back then. It was the time before computers. You can't compare the two.
No, but I didn't waste money on one, either ;)
 

Steve Dallas

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Interesting question. I once tried going back to basics and focusing on speaker placement, room treatment, etc. But I was not satisfied after having spent years with DSP.

Case in point: why should I be happy with this:

KEF R3 Right Uncorrected.png



When I can easily be listening to this?

KEF R3 Right Dirac to 1000Hz.png


The DSP'd speakers sound MUCH better throughout the bass and lower midrange than the uncorrected speakers do--especially considering that is where much of the important stuff in music lives.

So, no. I can no longer embrace simplicity in the way you describe it, and I lament I did not know about things like DRC years sooner.
 

pkane

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I've always considered myself an early adopter, perhaps even an avant-gardist, when it comes to hi-fi technology. Over the course of the hi-fi journey, there have been paradigm shifts – the transition to CDs, later embracing streaming, and the shift from bulky floor-standing speakers to sleek active monitors, just to name a few.

In my experience, I've found success in keeping my signal paths straightforward. I've been hesitant to transform my regular home listening environment into an acoustic laboratory with heavy computer usage or reliance on proprietary DSP products. Call me old-fashioned, but I value the simplicity of my setup.

Are there others out there who, like me, choose to forgo room correction, measurement microphones, and other sophisticated tools in favor of a more straightforward audio experience? I'd love to hear about your approaches, experiences, and the reasoning behind your decision.

Is simplicity still a virtue in the ever-evolving landscape of audio technology?
My philosophy is due to Einstein: keep it as simple as possible, but not simpler. Eliminating important elements in the signal chain that help deal with very real (and significant) room and speaker positioning issues to me is going too far on the simplification path.
 

HarmonicTHD

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I've always considered myself an early adopter, perhaps even an avant-gardist, when it comes to hi-fi technology. Over the course of the hi-fi journey, there have been paradigm shifts – the transition to CDs, later embracing streaming, and the shift from bulky floor-standing speakers to sleek active monitors, just to name a few.

In my experience, I've found success in keeping my signal paths straightforward. I've been hesitant to transform my regular home listening environment into an acoustic laboratory with heavy computer usage or reliance on proprietary DSP products. Call me old-fashioned, but I value the simplicity of my setup.

Are there others out there who, like me, choose to forgo room correction, measurement microphones, and other sophisticated tools in favor of a more straightforward audio experience? I'd love to hear about your approaches, experiences, and the reasoning behind your decision.

Is simplicity still a virtue in the ever-evolving landscape of audio technology?
To make it short: If you want to hear your room and not your system, let alone the originally recorded signal, then this is the way to go. (Speakers, Room modes and SBIR, speaker and listener positions influence FR by orders of magnitude more than the rest combined). (BTW: that is another reason why sharing subjective listening impressions are of no actual value to others, as you are essentially describing your room only).

Modern SOTA EQ happens digitally and I am yet to see factual proof that it audibly deteriorates sound (no anecdotes pls). So less is not more, which is a stupid generalization when it comes to engineered products anyhow.

But to each its own and I know you are happy as you are, so that is all what counts.
 

fpitas

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Doing measurement corrections with the help of a microphone takes a long time to learn how to do it correctly , most room correction programes give unfortunately wrong instructions
I have already familiarised myself with other complicated scientific issues and therefore I can see the effort that is required if you really want to do it right. What's more, I want to stick with Linux software and the range of solutions doesn't seem to be that good.
 
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If you want to optimize the gear you have, including your room,
Some modern technologies are not compatible with everything I have here. I would have to give it up and rebuild some things from scratch. For everyday listening, I mostly listen directly in the near field. That's my simple method of minimising room influence.
 
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