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Master Thread: Are measurements Everything or Nothing?

Robbo99999

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Ok, thanks for the conversation.
Yeah, no worries, at some point someone has to bow out if they've tried to explain their point in a variety of ways. Mostly I don't bare grudges, so most people start on a clean slate with me each day on the internet & in real life, but there are limits to that of course.......but of course we are nowhere near those limits.
 

DSJR

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That chap was me!
I was talking about the original first gen SARA's. and No, there was no resistor instead of a tweeter on the second crossover! at least I didn't see one.
However, a Naim 250 at the time, managed to get a very good sound of them, OK they were bass shy, but that speed and authority! But my Meridian at the time sounded flabby! I reckon, impedance at low frequencies was dropping to such low figures (because of double bass drivers) that the Meridians couldn't manage, but the Naim could.
Regarding the Sonus Fabers, yes you are correct, the quality of factory crossover components were decent, and the DC resistance of the factory inductors were very low, and the difference between the ribbon inductors and factory was negligible (I did check), change of inductors hardly made any difference, but I had paid for them so I left them in !
I really got a change from the series cap replacement that feeds the tweeter, the rest were decoration more than anything else.
As a last thing, I did re-tune the speakers to my own taste. Nothing major, just add and change the odd resistor to get the tone to my liking, and I removed all foam from inside.
The 103D I liked into harbeth HL's and similar, but it wasn't so hot on the bench and not powerful enouigh for Saras... Our 15' x 11' dem room was perfect for the Sarah low bass. Played with an LP12 (of course) onto the Naim 32.5/HiCap/250, we regularly had the amp overheating and shutting down after 45 minutes. Grace Jones 'Slave to The Rhythm' on original mix first pressing really set the bass units going and nice pressure waves in the room. Ah, them were the days.......

Changing a series can *can* increase tweeter output. I did this on my Epos ES14's and it tended to make an existing problem in the later version worse, as the cap value finally chosen made the tweeter spitty (Robin was going to deal with it but was whisked away before he could) and the lower resistance of the poly cap I chose (I think designer Robin Marshall gave them to me) lifted the by now spitty tweeter higher in level (his response? 'Told you so!').

This is where measurements come in I feel, as you can check beyond doubt what you're hearing - or not...
 

Robbo99999

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Cool, that's not surprising to me, even if I'm not a musician, but prestige/standing/history/expectation bias can warp people's minds. It pleases me to see such revelations even if they remove mystery and motivation for some of the players, but on the plus side they can focus on their own performances rather than thinking they should be having a supposedly better and astronomically expensive instrument!

P.S. I'm not weaving this into any other point made in this thread - it's just an interesting psychologically influenced point.

P.P.S. mind you when I later read one of Matt Hooper's replies to your post then that does make me wonder......defensiveness and belief must be strong even though I don't know exactly what point he is defending with regard to the recent conversation.......as I figured your post was just a post out of the blue showing the "power of belief".
 
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Ken Tajalli

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The 103D I liked into harbeth HL's and similar, but it wasn't so hot on the bench and not powerful enouigh for Saras... Our 15' x 11' dem room was perfect for the Sarah low bass. Played with an LP12 (of course) onto the Naim 32.5/HiCap/250, we regularly had the amp overheating and shutting down after 45 minutes. Grace Jones 'Slave to The Rhythm' on original mix first pressing really set the bass units going and nice pressure waves in the room. Ah, them were the days.......

Changing a series can *can* increase tweeter output. I did this on my Epos ES14's and it tended to make an existing problem in the later version worse, as the cap value finally chosen made the tweeter spitty (Robin was going to deal with it but was whisked away before he could) and the lower resistance of the poly cap I chose (I think designer Robin Marshall gave them to me) lifted the by now spitty tweeter higher in level (his response? 'Told you so!').

This is where measurements come in I feel, as you can check beyond doubt what you're hearing - or not...
What's a FOO capacitor?
The series cap. on Factory, was a PP type, I replaced it with a Chinese, chunkier PP type of same value!
I did try a handful before settling on the Chinese one.
Called Obligatto , if I remember correctly.
Not really expensive either, about £12 or £15.

Regarding the inductors, the factory ferrite cored ones, had less windings so total resistance was low. The ribbon air cored ones needed more windings to achieve same inductance, but had a larger conductor, so as a whole the resistances were within 0.1R of each other.
 
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MattHooper

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1) The "explicit goals" of most manufacturing facilities is just a bunch of advertising pap. They'll say anything that they think is to their advantage, which means anything that puts them in a good light. The government does it, Disney does it, Boeing does it, Fruit of The Loom does it and Carver did it.

Again, I don't find such cynicism to be a compelling argument. It tends to be spread too far, leveling the ground in a way that I think is inaccurate.
Will companies plump up their claims to aim at their clients? Sure. Does that mean there aren't audio manufacturers who have goals similar to what they state they have? Of course not.

Many high end companies are quite small, and a good portion were started by enthusiast chasing their vision for particular goals. It's simply implausible to dismiss them all on some cynical grounds because advertising can itself be b.s. or exaggerated. We have manufacturers on this site and I'd bet many are driven by real enthusiasm, honest attempts towards achieving certain goals in sound reproduction. I've been acquainted with a few and they were audio enthusiasts who clearly believed in their own approach to design.

And some are fascinated with the difference between live vs reproduced sound, and trying to find ways to capture or reproduce what they find to be compelling elements of live sound.


2) Engineers aren't stupid. Artists aren't stupid. Since I mentioned Disney, let's draw parallels between audio recordings and cinema productions. Do you think producers, cinematographers and directors strive for "realism"? Do you think that the cameras and filters, the background and scene cuts, are chosen for "realism"? And do you think that the audio is processed for a greater approach to "realism". Yes, there have been avant-garde "art" films that have tried to show "realism", but they've been dismal failures. Why? Because consumers don't want "realism", only the illusion of it. Suspended disbelief, and all that rot.

The same applies to the audio industry. Jim

I've already said that.

And, again, we have to parse what we mean by "striving for realism." Yes we know movie-making is ultimately an illusion - just as we know reproduced sound is an illusion. But within that context, within those limitations, yes film makers certainly often strive for elements of "realism." And it will always depend on the aspirations of any particular film. (See: All The President's Men, or Shindler's List, vs Star Wars).

The goals for any recording can be all over the map. But it's a mistake to conclude that no recordings are meant to sound life-like, or that "how things sound in real life" isn't very often woven in to the choices made for many recordings. Perfect realism? Unlikely. Can we talk about movements toward or away from realism, or from the sound of the "real thing" in a recording? Of course.
 

MattHooper

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What I seriously think Matt is that I was talking about facts and you repplied using my character,my profession,my view of life or whatever else was convenient to make a point,except facts.

Let me talk about your character also then.And I have only one thing to say.
Get rid of your desperate need for acceptance.You think what you think,you won't convince people talking them to death.
Only facts convince between strangers.

Thanks. I wasn't trying to impugn anyone's character, only express incredulity that someone could write what you wrote as a response to my arguments.

Sorry you were rankled by my not simply accepting on it's face the wisdom you imparted after: "Matt,I only have one thing to tell you..." .
I dared disagree.

But with respect to your quotes above: you might want to return your diploma in pop psychology for a refund. ;)


And the fact is that musicians (as i am doubtfully one them) choose their instruments for various reason most of them boring and cynical,

Well, having known untold numbers of musicians in my life...including coming from a family of musicians....apparently we live in different worlds. I can't think of one instance in which the word "cynical" would apply to anyone I know choosing their instrument. If we are doing pop psychology might you be projecting?

sound is one of them.

Yup. Which was my point. Which is why I'd explained your initial reply was a red-herring.

Thanks for the replies.

Over n out.
 
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Ken Tajalli

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1) The "explicit goals" of most manufacturing facilities is just a bunch of advertising pap. They'll say anything that they think is to their advantage, which means anything that puts them in a good light. The government does it, Disney does it, Boeing does it, Fruit of The Loom does it and Carver did it.
As true as your statements are, not everybody who advertises something is a lier or trying to deceive you.
Take Topping, the beloved of Amir and ASR for example. They do advertise that they use the latest femtosecond crystals and this model uses the latest ES9039 pro chipset etc.
Yes they do, but isn't that all irrelevant? Chord uses none of those, yet gets objective results on a par with the best of Topping! Chord advertises other aspects, again irrelevant.
But disregarding price, both manufacturers make top-notch devices.
2) Engineers aren't stupid. Artists aren't stupid. Since I mentioned Disney, let's draw parallels between audio recordings and cinema productions. Do you think producers, cinematographers and directors strive for "realism"? Do you think the actors believe what they're doing constitutes "realism"? Do you think that the cameras and filters, the background and scene cuts, are chosen for "realism"? And do you think that the audio is processed for a greater approach to "realism". Yes, there have been avant-garde "art" films that have tried to show "realism", but they've been dismal failures. Why? Because consumers don't want "realism", only the illusion of it. Suspended disbelief, and all that rot.

The same applies to the audio industry. Jim
I am sorry, Disney and Holywood as a whole sells Fantasy ! they have no intention of realism or need for it, indeed they require unrealistic stuff. Sorry bad example.
IMAX documentaries, shown in true IMAX theatres, did aim for realism.
When Deutsche grammophon records a classical music session, they do go for Realism ! They may use all kinds of trickery in their production, all in effort to make the final product sound realistic.
But EMI recorded Pink Floyd albums of the 70's, and Waters had every intention to make them sound unrealistic.
 

MattHooper

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Well, then .... my apologies. To be perfectly blunt, most of your postings are so wordy that I can't slog through them, and the remainder are so difficult to understand that I'm lost. Remember; I told you long ago that TLDR is one of my best friends.

Sometimes, I want to add something to the conversation. I've come to understand that can be a very dangerous thing for me to do. :D Jim

No problem, I appreciate it, and you are right.
 

Sal1950

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goat76

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That sounds like a good strategy for you and many others here.

As I've mentioned, whatever the measurements, I personally prefer to make any final decision on a purchase based on personally hearing a speaker so see if I really like it. And, again, I enjoy auditioning different speakers.





Very sensible.

As to getting a good idea from a store audition, I have found this to be quite possible, for my purposes.

For one thing, my speakers tend to be around 7' from my listening seat, and I can pull them out well in to the room (e.g. currently 4' from the back wall), which to an extent minimizes (not gets rid of) some of the room effects and seems to give me a bit more direct sound.

Another thing is that, as Floyd Toole has written, we are generally pretty good at "hearing through" the acoustics of a room to the character of a speaker (at least above the bass transition point). Our auditory system evolved to perceptually weed out what we want to hear from the messiness of surrounding acoustics. So the idea of getting some idea of the character of a speaker in different rooms is quite plausible.

Finally, my own quirky approach: in most cases when I have auditioned speakers in stores, I've been able to adjust the speaker and listening position as I desire. So I often listen first however the salesman set it up. Then I'll make sure the speakers are pulled out a good distance from the back wall, I'll set my listening distance the same as at home. But after listening that way I'll do various tests - listen from below axis, standing, I'll move off axis, I'll walk around the speaker listening for how the sound changes, I'll listen from various distances in the room, e.g. as if I'd be listening from down the hall.
You might call it a sort of human spinorama "hot take" on a speaker :)

This seems to net me a good overall impression of the speaker, the result being that I have never, ever been surprised at the sound of that speaker when hearing it again in a different room, nor have I ever been surprised by the sound of a speaker I have auditioned once I got it home. They always have the same characteristics I heard in the store audition. Works for me :)
Just like you, I have my speakers set up in a fairly small listening triangle at 205 centimeters (6.7 feet), and with the speaker's front baffle at 105 cm (3.5 feet) from the back wall, which is the best distance for my particular speakers in my room for clean bass and well-balanced sound.
And just like you say, this is a good setup to get a higher ratio of direct vs the room reflections, and with that a "clearer view" into the recordings. :)

Some people here seem to think there's no point at all having a demo away from home, I don't share their experience. My local HiFi store has five demo rooms which all sound pretty good. The speakers I've heard there don't sound drastically different at home, the main sound characteristics stay the same.
 

Sal1950

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Some people here seem to think there's no point at all having a demo away from home, I don't share their experience. My local HiFi store has five demo rooms which all sound pretty good. The speakers I've heard there don't sound drastically different at home, the main sound characteristics stay the same.
My God man, where are you located?
I haven't seen a Hi Fi dealer with 5 demo rooms since the 1990s LOL
 

Ken1951

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Well, then .... my apologies. To be perfectly blunt, most of your postings are so wordy that I can't slog through them, and the remainder are so difficult to understand that I'm lost. Remember; I told you long ago that TLDR is one of my best friends.

Sometimes, I want to add something to the conversation. I've come to understand that can be a very dangerous thing for me to do. :D Jim
Save pixels, the Ignore function is your friend.
 

Newman

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.... To be perfectly blunt, most of your postings are so wordy that I can't slog through them, and the remainder are so difficult to understand that I'm lost. Remember; I told you long ago that TLDR is one of my best friends.
We have our very own Lord Prolix. Like waves on the sea, relentless unending energy can wear down even the greatest cliffs of truth, and all we are left with is dissembled sand. Even though it isn’t true, one is left feeling like the debating team captain has arrived, and his first principle is Longest Winded Wins. Second principle is Never Give Up. Third principle is Leave No Stone Unturned. Fourth principle is I Can Win Any Debate Even 1+1=3, Just Let Me At It.
Sometimes, I want to add something to the conversation. I've come to understand that can be a very dangerous thing for me to do. :D Jim
Yes, partly because of the laborious consequences. Even for the eyes.

New-“brevity is the soul of wit”-man (blame the Bard, not I)
 

Sal1950

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In the north of Sweden, the store have done this since 1985 and still doing it. :)
Wow, that's awesome.
Wish we had some like that around here.
 

Sokel

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1) The "explicit goals" of most manufacturing facilities is just a bunch of advertising pap. They'll say anything that they think is to their advantage, which means anything that puts them in a good light. The government does it, Disney does it, Boeing does it, Fruit of The Loom does it and Carver did it.

2) Engineers aren't stupid. Artists aren't stupid. Since I mentioned Disney, let's draw parallels between audio recordings and cinema productions. Do you think producers, cinematographers and directors strive for "realism"? Do you think the actors believe what they're doing constitutes "realism"? Do you think that the cameras and filters, the background and scene cuts, are chosen for "realism"? And do you think that the audio is processed for a greater approach to "realism". Yes, there have been avant-garde "art" films that have tried to show "realism", but they've been dismal failures. Why? Because consumers don't want "realism", only the illusion of it. Suspended disbelief, and all that rot.

The same applies to the audio industry. Jim
Is black and white pictures and movies real?Of course not.
Some of the best photographers use it though.Because is beautiful.That's art.

Illusion is what we are after.And it works.Despite the compromises.Art is about not the real thing but about what could be real.
A good reproduction system dives you in exactly that.A fantasy.An emotion.An illusion.

And the better way to do that is through science.Through established measurements,observations,studies,experience,etc.
NOT through "opinions".Opinions are not to be respected,only people.
 

gavagai

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If the link to those experiments is to suggest that all musicians are mistaken in the belief their choice of instrument sounds different from alternatives...that's like pointing to an experiment of people's knee being struck with a rubber mallet to elicit the reflex movement, and then concluding "See, this demonstrates ALL our actions are involuntary!"

You don't think Jaco Pastorius' bass tone is different from Geddy Lee's?

Stratagem 1 of The art of being right. 38 Ways to Win an Argument by Schopenhauer :
The Extension. - This consists in carrying your opponent's proposition beyond its natural limits; in giving it as general a signification and as wide a sense as possible, so as to exaggerate it; and, on the other hand, in giving your own proposition as restricted a sense and as narrow limits as you can, because the more general a statement becomes, the more numerous are the objections to which it is open. The defense consists in an accurate statement of the point or essential question at issue.

So my defense is here :
The experiments show that the general idea that violin soloist in classical music choose their antique and very expensive instrument because they like their sound is false. The other idea that it's more likely to love the sound of antique instrument because of their inherent sound superiority is also false.
So one can deduce (you know the silly "class inclusion" of logic) that there is a least one exception to the general proposition : "musician choose their instrument because they like their sound".

Here's another one :
Why do the session legends all use P basses? Here's why
(Spoiler alert : it's because producers and audio engineers love their sound that is very easy to record)

Concerning great players, I think that their sound is in their brain/body, not in their instruments. Strange isn't it ? I am a logic and science believer (social science included - for me tastes and preferences have causes) and yet here we are : me defending a humanist position, and you defending a reductionist position ;)

PS : I'm French. My english must be far far from perfect. Sorry for that.
 

Geert

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RayDunzl

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Looks like it's been a year since any comments to this other, possibly pertinent thread...

Bump.

 
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