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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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I love Dim Sum , the mother in law bit I can't relate to .
I'll pass.
I'm frying up some Italian sausage and meat balls. Having a sausage & pepper sandwich for lunch
Then the rest is going in the BIG pot with tomatoes and the rest for this months spaghetti sauce.
There's fine eatin.
 
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Floyd Toole

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So you need multiple sets of speakers to match the monitors of the corresponding era.

Or just wait for the remaster, which is probably just as much about updating the EQ to suit changes in speakers as anything.
Indeed, and the updated EQ is much needed from what I hear in most of the original oldies. It must have been the music, because it cannot be the sound quality. Remixes tend to be improvements. Even tone controls can restore some of the distorted spectral balance in oldies.

The photos of big old horn monitors bring back bad memories. See Section 12.5.1 "Old School Monitoring" and Section 18.3 "Some Early Professional Monitoring Loudspeakers" in the 3rd edition of my book. It is clear that some of the "legendary" monitor loudspeakers were very colored - and they were all different from one another. One of them, the UREI 811B was awarded the lowest subjective rating ever recorded in my NRCC double-blind testing - and that happened to be in a test conducted for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to choose new monitors. Listening was done by their own recording engineers. When the results were revealed they couldn't believe it, and insisted on a rerun using their own master tapes. It was done, and the results did not change. Some of those engineers commented at the end that they had never heard such good sound in their lives - mostly from the consumer loudspeakers in the test.

Consumers are not the only ones taken in by a good sales pitch.
 

Frank Dernie

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Spice Girls??? Never heard of them.
Hey Google,
With over 85 million records sold worldwide, the group became the best-selling female group of all time.

Damn, I would have thought that might have been one of Phil Spector's girl groups, Shirelles, Martha & The Vandellas, Supremes, Ronni & Ronettes
Heart ??? :p
Ginger Spice is married to somebody I know well and see socially from time to time. She is a real character!
 

Floyd Toole

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BBC broadcast monitors were designed for near-field(as you say) vocal quality monitoring. Marketers have misled buyers to believe they meet a wider requirement.
Yes, the mystique is real - and, as you suggest, wrong. The off-axis performance was not highly weighted. The LS3/5A anechoic measurement is in Figure 18.3(f). I measured several versions and this was the best. The worst one was awful. Production variations in drivers was a problem and it was obvious that the much-touted quality control was simply not being done. Figure 18.3 shows the expensive Rogers/BBC LS5/8 with dedicated Quad amps. The off axis performance is not good, again indicating that listeners were intended to hear only the direct (on-axis) sound. When I visited the BBC research center, Harwood toured me around and it was clear that the control rooms were acoustically very dead, some of them very small.

Unfortunately, the BBC example was followed by some other British manufacturers (e.g. the KEF 105.2 shown in Figure 5.4 and the B&W 802N shown in Figure 5.11) who did not attend adequately to off-axis performance - it matters in normally reflective rooms.

All figure references are to the 3rd edition of my book.
 

svart-hvitt

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Indeed, and the updated EQ is much needed from what I hear in most of the original oldies. It must have been the music, because it cannot be the sound quality. Remixes tend to be improvements. Even tone controls can restore some of the distorted spectral balance in oldies.

The photos of big old horn monitors bring back bad memories. See Section 12.5.1 "Old School Monitoring" and Section 18.3 "Some Early Professional Monitoring Loudspeakers" in the 3rd edition of my book. It is clear that some of the "legendary" monitor loudspeakers were very colored - and they were all different from one another. One of them, the UREI 811B was awarded the lowest subjective rating ever recorded in my NRCC double-blind testing - and that happened to be in a test conducted for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to choose new monitors. Listening was done by their own recording engineers. When the results were revealed they couldn't believe it, and insisted on a rerun using their own master tapes. It was done, and the results did not change. Some of those engineers commented at the end that they had never heard such good sound in their lives - mostly from the consumer loudspeakers in the test.

Consumers are not the only ones taken in by a good sales pitch.
Did you really say that not everything was better in ye olden days???

On a serious note: What may colour the perception of old big speakers with a 15 inch woofer is the fact that bass can be punchy, and bass and bass punch are proven factors in explaining perceived sound quality.

On certain material, and on higher SPLs, old school monitors with 15 inch woofer may still score high in some cases? Could that explain why many are drawn to big legacy speakers of colour?

On a broader set of audio material, such old school speakers will uncover their inadequacies, however.
 

Frank Dernie

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The only "monitors" I have owned are Yamaha NS1000 and BBC LS3/5a, both bought new. The Yamahas were bough new and were in my main syatem for years, now in my bedroom and only used if I am ill. The LS3/5as were in my office for years and now sold at a huge profit since they were mint cosmetically and I had kept the original packaging :)
 

Dialectic

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Floyd Toole

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The only "monitors" I have owned are Yamaha NS1000 and BBC LS3/5a, both bought new. The Yamahas were bough new and were in my main syatem for years, now in my bedroom and only used if I am ill. The LS3/5as were in my office for years and now sold at a huge profit since they were mint cosmetically and I had kept the original packaging :)
The NS1000 was an exceptional loudspeaker at the time, and not embarrassing even now. See Figure 18.3. The only problem was that they were designed for a flat sound power target, so they were slightly bass shy - turn up the bass and/or turn down the treble for better balance. The NS-10 was also designed for flat sound power, and in a two-way that was most regrettable - although inexplicably many recording engineers got sucked into what can only be described as a "fashion". Truthfully it was an Auratone with more bass. The designer visited me at the NRCC and went away swearing never to do it again. He didn't, and subsequent Yamaha monitors were flat on axis. Section 12.5.1 in the 3rd edition discusses this and shows measurements.
 

Frank Dernie

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See Figure 18.3. The only problem was that they were designed for a flat sound power target, so they were slightly bass shy - turn up the bass and/or turn down the treble for better balance
Yes I have your book and was delighted to see that! I ran mine with the mid at -2 and the treble at -1 which seemed best in my room.
I still enjoy them.
 

daftcombo

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My point was to show that if a speaker is to reproduce real-life sounds, you need serious machinery. In some cases, people sit 5-15 meters from their speakers, just like one would in a small jazz club. Bookshelf speakers won’t make it «happen» if you expect that club feeling at home. The reason why discussions get a bit heated when one talks about «punch», «dynamics, may be due to human behaviour where people feel a need to defend their choices and purchases even if it’s obvious their gear is inadequate in certain respects.

On the other hand, for those who don’t have large rooms, nearfield speakers is an intelligent compromise to max direct sound and SPL with a small foot print in terms of gear. Headphones and in-ears are an intelligent choice too, if one is short on space and budgetary freedom.
Sometimes it can be better not to have the "fi" in hi-fi. If I can hear jazz at high but not crazy high volumes causing quick hearing loss, it is for the better.
In that case, as when you can see the sun on TV without getting blind, reproduction is better than the thing itself.
Wouldn't trumpettists be happier if their instrument was a bit less loud?
 

svart-hvitt

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Sometimes it can be better not to have the "fi" in hi-fi. If I can hear jazz at high but not crazy high volumes causing quick hearing loss, it is for the better.
In that case, as when you can see the sun on TV without getting blind, reproduction is better than the thing itself.
Wouldn't trumpettists be happier if their instrument was a bit less loud?
You’re perfectly right. Because we have «listening rooms», not «venues», «atriums» or big halls we adjust SPL to our liking and health.

In fact, when I hear a grand piano, standing next to it, I need to step away to soften the sound for my ears. Violins playing 2-3 meters away are playing too high as well. So we make our adjustments to smoothen the perceived sound.

Still, I wonder if headroom is one of those characteristics that are undervalued, in the same way as a 200 horsepower car is underpowered too in some situations. Headroom is a sparse resource, it’s cost driving, so many a hifi designer or salesman will have you believe that the small box has all you need.
 
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Still, I wonder if headroom is one of those characteristics that are undervalued, in the same way as a 200 horsepower car is underpowered too in some situations. Headroom is a sparse resource, it’s cost driving, so many a hifi designer or salesman will have you believe that the small box has all you need.
I think there is some merit to this idea, but it's obviously tough to separate out from other factors. The best sounding system I've ever had was a pair of Yorkville U15s (Unity horns) tucked into the corners of a very small room. The controlled directivity coming out of the corners and some first-reflection treatment turned them into big headphones, and some DRC-FIR eq removed most of the midrange funkiness. But the most glorious aspect was the effectively unlimited headroom - IMHO (subjective report incoming) the sense of dynamics on transients etc was remarkable and provided a much closer to 'live' type of impression. The one track I specifically remember being utterly transformed by this system relative to anything I'd previously heard it on was 'Tamacun' by Rodrigo Y Gabriella - they make significant use of percussive slapping of their guitars and the impact of that plus the aggressive transients of the strings was spectacular.

I remember Tom Danley doing some experiments but coming at it from the recording side rather than the playback side, to determine how much headroom was necessary to capture truly unclipped signals. He found that things like dropping a fork for example generated instantaneous peaks of 120dB+, so you have to think that things like cymbals, brass, orchestral percussion etc might be in the same ballpark. This implies a crest factor of what - 40dB or more? Way way higher than most systems are capable of providing (but of course, virtually every recording we have has had the life crushed out of it by comparision, too)
Of course, he also did things like recording fireworks displays which showed similarly ridiculous spl values in the sub-bass/infrasonic area.
 

Sal1950

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Post sauce recipe please!
To be honest I've gotten very lazy in my old age, too much cutting and chopping.
Here's what I made today.
I used 9 links of sweet Italian sausage and 4 lbs of pork neckbones
Brown your meat in a huge cooking pot with about 2 oz of olive oil over very low heat
I add 4 each,
Bertolli Italian Sausage, Garlic, & Romano Sauce
Classico Italian Sausge, Pepper & Onion Sauce
About 1/2 cup of fresh grated Romano cheese

Bring to a very low simmer then keep well stirred for 2-3 hours until neckbones are tender enough to eat..
Divide into freezer containers
Oh course you can make less at a time. LOL

IMG_2372.JPG
 

Sal1950

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Still, I wonder if headroom is one of those characteristics that are undervalued, in the same way as a 200 horsepower car is underpowered too in some situations. Headroom is a sparse resource, it’s cost driving, so many a hifi designer or salesman will have you believe that the small box has all you need.
You can never have too much power, unless you abuse it and blow up the speaker or crash your ride. LOL
 

Wombat

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To be honest I've gotten very lazy in my old age, too much cutting and chopping.
Here's what I made today.
I used 9 links of sweet Italian sausage and 4 lbs of pork neckbones
Brown your meat in a huge cooking pot with about 2 oz of olive oil over very low heat
I add 4 each,
Bertolli Italian Sausage, Garlic, & Romano Sauce
Classico Italian Sausge, Pepper & Onion Sauce
About 1/2 cup of fresh grated Romano cheese

Bring to a very low simmer then keep well stirred for 2-3 hours until neckbones are tender enough to eat..
Divide into freezer containers
Oh course you can make less at a time. LOL

View attachment 29338
Sounds deadly. ;) I do batch(elor) cooking, too.
 

svart-hvitt

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You can never have too much power, unless you abuse it and blow up the speaker or crash your ride. LOL
I was thinking about headroom in drivers too, before they distort etc.

So headroom must be seen as a holistic thing, not just a power thing (cfr. the Devialet Phantom power claims).
 

restorer-john

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The NS1000 was an exceptional loudspeaker at the time, and not embarrassing even now. See Figure 18.3. The only problem was that they were designed for a flat sound power target, so they were slightly bass shy - turn up the bass and/or turn down the treble for better balance.
We have a Japanese home market pair of NS1000Ms (circa 1984 with gold anodised anniversary badges- 10th year after the '74 introduction) along with their matching SPS-500 stands. My father, who is in his mid 80s, loves them of course for his classical music. We share a lifetime of HiFi addiction between us and at any given point, he has 50 or 60 pieces of my gear and I likely have about the the same number of things of his in my repair queue... Last week he mentioned he had about 20 pairs of bookshelf speakers of mine if I wanted any back to 'play with'.

My issues with the NS-1000ms have always been a lack of bottom end, even when I was selling the X series in the very early 90s (NS-5/30/100/700/1000X), they were not my cup of tea and the NS-2000 was more of the same with a token effort at improving the bass. (and yes, we had the classic cut-in-half NS1000M on the sales floor). The NS-1000s may sound better when you throw power at them, but some people don't like 'loud' just to get a flattening in the perceived spectrum and or more bottom end.

I have a pile of active subwoofers including a pair of ununsed PSB subsonic 5is sitting here. And a pair of unused Mirage powered 10" subwoofers. As it would involve a fair bit of rearranging in his main HiFi room, do you think placement of the NS1000Ms on top of the PSBs (they are forward firing) would be preferable to side-by-side? I guess I just want him to hear bottom end again. It was about 1986 when his 15" 3 way Empire Royal Grenadier 9000M mk2s died a death. (I still have them in my storeroom in original cartons c/- marble tops) and he's been using small/medium sized speakers ever since. I gave him a B&W ASW-600 subwoofer about 10 years ago and he's never used it.

So he needs a bass-intervention.

At what point did the Japanese stop shooting for a 'flat' response and was it a sudden adoption of 'western' sound? Having owned plenty of high quality big Japanese speakers by the big players, I found they all sounded quite similar and ultimately disappointed in the long term.
 
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