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How far have ss amps really come in the last twenty years??

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Sal1950

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What does it mean if I'm willing to pay extra $$$ for something that looks cool, because I know when I listen sighted (all the time) I know I'll like it better than something that is ugly or boring....even if I know blinded, I probably couldn't tell the difference?
Your human.

Or so it's been rumored. LOL
 

SIY

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What does it mean if I'm willing to pay extra $$$ for something that looks cool, because I know when I listen sighted (all the time) I know I'll like it better than something that is ugly or boring....even if I know blinded, I probably couldn't tell the difference?
It means you're intellectually honest with yourself.
 

BDWoody

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What does it mean if I'm willing to pay extra $$$ for something that looks cool, because I know when I listen sighted (all the time) I know I'll like it better than something that is ugly or boring....even if I know blinded, I probably couldn't tell the difference?
It means you are a grown-up who can make considered decisions. If you aren't taking food from your kids' table, enjoy the luxuries in life where you find them.
 

BDWoody

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What does it mean if I'm willing to pay extra $$$ for something that looks cool, because I know when I listen sighted (all the time) I know I'll like it better than something that is ugly or boring....even if I know blinded, I probably couldn't tell the difference?
Also, based on your forum name... I would guess you like what you like, and don't apologize. I choose to wear a mechanical watch, knowing full well that almost any watch with a battery will keep better time. That's not really the point though...is it...?
 
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A speaker is different from an amplifier in the sense that the speaker is a system that converts an electric signal into acoustic sound. They are not comparable. The amplifier can be seen as one of many parts of the speaker - it does not matter if it is placed internal or external.

The amplifier is a simple system which has easily measurable properties. The output signal is an electric voltage which is a function of the input signal, and those signals vary with time. If the output signal can be verified to be sufficiently similar to the input with the specified gain, the amplifier works perfect.

Only 3 things can happen here - noise, frequency response deviation, nonlinear distortion. All of which can be measured, and we know the audible limits of those. Measurements of good amplifiers show performance that exceeds those audible limits, and thus they should sound transparent - no audible difference between input and output. And indeed they do. There are to this date no published controlled listening tests that shows audible difference on good amplifiers working within their intended signal range.

That does not mean all amplifiers are the same. They must have properties adapted to the application, so that there actually is no noise or distortion when driving the speaker it is connected to, at the chosen listening volume. But that is no mystery, and the selection can be made purely based on technical specifications, there really is no need to "listen".

For a speaker, the situation is by magnitudes more complex. The output can be measurably very different from the input signal, yet still acceptable. This represents challenges both in how to measure and how to interpret and understand those measurements. This is where audio gets interesting.

In the hifi-world you often see those systems with quite modest size speakers, and power amplifers that are larger than the speakers. And the amplifiers are believed to have a similar impact on sound as the speakers - they have "punch", "holography", "prat" and what else you can read in typical hifi-reviews. It would be a nice story, was it not for the fact that the whole concept is based on an illusion.
 

svart-hvitt

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This is very much the point- if you take a loose term where there's no general agreement on what it means ("dynamic" "punchy" "tubey") and try to correlate it to a measurement or set of measurements, you have a tough row to hoe. But nonetheless, if you do a valid listening comparison of one audio device to another, are able do demonstrate that the differences can be heard, and where your ears-only distinction is that one speaker is (fill in the blank with whatever fuzzy term), their measurements WILL be different. In no case I'm aware of will two devices sound different in a valid listening test but not have readily measurable differences.

Nor has anyone provided such an example.
At the outset of mp3, people thought it was transparent. Later, listening tests showed that prior beliefs based on psychoacoustics needed adjustments.

There are many more examples, most outside of audio of course, that one only later was able to measure what was previously not measurable and therefore the source of myth and heated discussion.

My point is really this: I think for example @Floyd Toole ’s excellent book has been misused in many cases where people only look at the frequency response of a speaker to value its quality. @Floyd Toole has made many valuable contributions to audio, but he has little to say about things like dynamics and punchiness. And I believe this overfocus on frequency response has its negative sides. For example when people think a small speaker can sound the same as a bigger speaker because their frequency response are the same. I think it’s interesting that people believe big and small sound the same. Do they trust a certain set of measurements too much, while leaving out things that are not readily measurable?

Speakers sound different even if the designers are not fully able to describe these differences. So we need to wait for new measurements to arrive in order to describe things we hear today. Your argument is of the time-travel type, where you assume that tomorrows’s measurements will tell us all there is. I agree that we will be able - in the future - to measure what matters, but I think today’s measurements are of the too crude type to forecast exactly how a speaker will sound. We’re still not there where computer assisted design can replace all listening by humans. I have not heard about a respected speaker manufacturer that has skipped all listening tests and rely 100 percent on computer simulations. Can you provide examples of speaker manufacturers that have stopped listening tests and focus only on the computer?
 

SIY

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At the outset of mp3, people thought it was transparent.
AFAIK, no-one involved with that development ever made that claim.

The rest... well, I'm still waiting for "here's two things verified to sound different but measure the same." All I'm getting is that you don't know how to apply those differing measurements to your verbal construction.
 

amirm

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At the outset of mp3, people thought it was transparent. Later, listening tests showed that prior beliefs based on psychoacoustics needed adjustments.
Not at all. MP3 was known from day one to not achieve transparency at any bit rate. AAC was designed as a follow up to accomplish that goal. It uses dual frame sizes so it can better adapt to transients versus not (and with it, better control pre-echo). No rules of psychoacoustics had to be changed at all.
 

amirm

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My point is really this: I think for example @Floyd Toole ’s excellent book has been misused in many cases where people only look at the frequency response of a speaker to value its quality.
Again, not at all. In the words of Sean Olive, the top 3 important parameters for any speaker are frequency response, frequency response and frequency response!
 

Blumlein 88

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At the outset of mp3, people thought it was transparent. Later, listening tests showed that prior beliefs based on psychoacoustics needed adjustments.
No, please don't push this incorrect myth. The creators of MP3 never thought it was transparent. Still do not. It was in fact developed with a ton of blind testing where the amount of degradation was graded. They wanted to make it as good as possible under the constraints of compressed audio bit rate.

J_J who posts here from time to time was involved in that creation. You don't need to ask him again, you can find plenty of places where he says it was not considered transparent by them nor expected to be. They did use what psycho-acoustical knowledge there was to guide them in how it worked, and then tested it.

You can download some powerpoints on the matter in this list.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...sing-and-psychoacoustics-master-library.2066/
 

amirm

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For example when people think a small speaker can sound the same as a bigger speaker because their frequency response are the same.
No one has said this.
 

Floyd Toole

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No one has said this.
Normally a "small" speaker will have less bass than a bigger one, so obviously there will be a difference. However, within the same bandwidth, and at the same "moderate" sound level they will sound astonishingly similar. Turn up the volume and other differences will appear. I would like to think that all of this is now obvious :)
 

MattHooper

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Normally a "small" speaker will have less bass than a bigger one, so obviously there will be a difference. However, within the same bandwidth, and at the same "moderate" sound level they will sound astonishingly similar. Turn up the volume and other differences will appear. I would like to think that all of this is now obvious :)
I'm wondering: Amir wrote that Sean Olive says: The top 3 important parameters for any speaker are frequency response, frequency response.

What is the relationship of frequency response to dynamics?

It certainly seems to a lot of us that one speaker can have flat frequency response, but not sound as dynamic and palpable as another speaker - horn speakers usually getting the nod for dynamics. If you have two different speaker designs, e.g horn system and an electrostatic speaker, and both had the same frequency response, would that even them out so each would sound as dynamically realistic as the other?

(One reason many of us leave electrostatics is that we start out bewitched by the sense of boxlessness and 'transparency,' but folks like me abandon them because they just don't sound palpably dense/dynamic at any sound level, where many box or horn speaker systems do).
 

watchnerd

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Your human.

Or so it's been rumored. LOL
It means you're intellectually honest with yourself.
It means you are a grown-up who can make considered decisions. If you aren't taking food from your kids' table, enjoy the luxuries in life where you find them.
Also, based on your forum name... I would guess you like what you like, and don't apologize. I choose to wear a mechanical watch, knowing full well that almost any watch with a battery will keep better time. That's not really the point though...is it...?
Re: mechanical watches vs. quartz or cell phones, I think that's an apt analogy.

For those not into horology:

I once asked a well-heeled audiophile friend, who was against blind listening, if sex with his wife was hotter after she got her breast implants.

And, if it was, was it equally hot in the dark.
 

Wombat

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Re: mechanical watches vs. quartz or cell phones, I think that's an apt analogy.

For those not into horology:

I once asked a well-heeled audiophile friend, who was against blind listening, if sex with his wife was hotter after she got her breast implants.

And, if it was, was it equally hot in the dark.
The answer? :p
 

Frank Dernie

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horn speakers usually getting the nod for dynamics
I have seen this quoted often.
I have 2 main systems in my retirement with a lot of time on my hands.
The older one has Goldmund Epilog 1&2 speakers, which are 3 way with a Scanspeak Revelator soft dome tweeter, kevlar mid with what looks like a Davis Acoustics 7" chassis, so maybe made by them and four 8" bass units. I chose it on audition against lots of other speakers over 20 years ago based on its dynamics and much cleaner bass than anything else I tried.
The more recent ones are Tune Audio Anima horns. They have a titanium diaphragm compression driver in a tractrix horn, a 5" (I think) Fostex driver mounted as a compression driver in a 60cm Tractrix horn and a 15" bass unit mounted in a downward facing horn which uses the corner of the room as continuation of the expansion. There are mid and treble level controls fwiw.
I do not find the horns to be more dynamic than the Epilogs despite their 109dB/watt sensitivity.
I have always thought dynamics were a linearity issue with speakers which do not sound dynamic being limited either by low efficiency leading to amplifier running out of steam or the speaker itself being non linear from a relatively low SPL. The former and plausibly the latter have been present in the speakers which I have found lacking in dynamics. Spendor BC1 for example were impressive on low level speech and string quartet but were truly pathetic on a Mahler symphony when I auditioned them 40 years or so ago.
The Epilogs are rated at 90dB/watt iirc but with whatever room effects included they are only about 12dB behind the Animas at the listening position, I do sit closer to the Epilogs though.
 
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MZKM

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I'm wondering: Amir wrote that Sean Olive says: The top 3 important parameters for any speaker are frequency response, frequency response.

What is the relationship of frequency response to dynamics?

It certainly seems to a lot of us that one speaker can have flat frequency response, but not sound as dynamic and palpable as another speaker - horn speakers usually getting the nod for dynamics. If you have two different speaker designs, e.g horn system and an electrostatic speaker, and both had the same frequency response, would that even them out so each would sound as dynamically realistic as the other?

(One reason many of us leave electrostatics is that we start out bewitched by the sense of boxlessness and 'transparency,' but folks like me abandon them because they just don't sound palpably dense/dynamic at any sound level, where many box or horn speaker systems do).
A horn speaker can easily be not dynamic. All “dynamic” really means is that the speaker gets loud without heavy distorting or linearity issues. Microdynamics (group delay and such) aren’t a huge deal.
 
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